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Fri Dec 28, 2012, 02:36 PM

Amendment 2 Blues

While reading through numerous threads on General Discussion, I am reminded of an old saying of Mark Twain’s: “The problem today is not one of ignorance, but rather, is one of folks knowing so much that just ain’t so.” Surely, this fit’s the on-going discussions on Amendment 2 like a glove. And that glove becomes an even more snug fit, when the emotional content transforms cool conversations to the heated arguments found here.

Part of the problem, I believe, is that there isn’t enough focus on the Constitution, and its application to our culture, in public education. I do not blame either teachers or administrators for this. Public education should teach the rights and responsibilities of our nation, just as surely as reading and writing. That was, in fact, a significant part of its “original intent.” However, in the post- Civil War era, public schools became the training ground for obedient factory drones, and the need to raise one’s hand to secure permission to use the restroom became more important that understanding the Constitution. Today, as public education is being geared -- again, not by teachers -- to separate the potential high-tech employees from the “service” workers, that new stratification requires a greater ignorance of the Constitution, multiplied by emotion.

I do not claim to be a “Constitutional scholar” -- a label frequently misused here -- but I do have many years of informal study on the topic of the its history and application, along with a couple of years of studying the law in college. In other words, I am at about the level that I think is required for responsible citizenship -- no more, no less. And although I’ve seen no evidence of any Constitutional scholar inhabiting the forum, I do think it is beneficial for our community to discuss the many related issues here.

Let’s start with a basic description of some of the terms used in meaningful discussions of the Constitution. First, there is “original intent” (or original meaning) and “current understanding.” The original intent is, of course, what the Founding Fathers believed the Constitution, and especially the Bill of Rights, meant. Even a shallow knowledge of the workings of the Founding Fathers includes the recognition that they frequently disagreed. One area of disagreement was the often ill-defined gray area of the rights of individual states versus the power of the federal government. Indeed, if that were not so, we would still be governed by the Articles of Confederation.

How the Constitution applies to current events is defined by “Constitutional Law.” In other words, it is defined by the interpretations of the US Supreme Court. The federal court system deals primarily in appeals of lower court (re: state) decisions; it is not based upon “guilt” vs. “not guilty,” but on if there was a potential violation of Constitutional Rights. And, right or wrong, the lower federal courts are required to follow the precedent set by the Supreme Court.

The fact that the USSC at times renders split decisions indicates that, even today, there can be vigorous disagreement on issues of Constitutional Law. Likewise, there are many indications that the “current understanding” of the law evolves: hence, for example, the increased number of amendments since the Bill of Rights was confirmed. This is obviously one of the primary reasons that the public should have a greater understanding of, and appreciation for, the Constitution and Constitutional Law. The troubling lack of insight is threatening to allow the federal government’s non-judiciary branches to stack the courts with right-wing and corporate-minded injustices -- not limited, unfortunately, to conservative republicans -- who follow a path that shreds the very foundation of the Bill of Rights (the “Patriot Act” being the most obvious bi-partisan example).

Now, let’s look at just one example of the current lack of understanding of the Bill of Rights, currently raging on this forum. And I’ll start by saying that I am definitely in favor of stronger “gun control” laws, as are the majority of Americans. However, Amendment 2 has to be taken into account -- at least until such time that it is repealed, something that isn’t going to happen any time soon. Yet the second amendment does not, as a matter of Constitutional Law, provide for an unlimited right for individuals to own any and all weapons that strike their fancy.

But before we can have a meaningful discussion of that complicated issue, it is important to have a grasp of the original intent. Why is there an Amendment 2 ? What led to it? And did it address individuals, militias, or both? The answers to those questions is found rooted in the dynamics which, by no coincidence, led to what would become known as “the shot heard around the world.”

The British powers were concerned primarily by the guns held by the citizens of and around Boston, MA. Hence, “General Sir” Thomas Gage attempted to force these people to turn over their guns. The Continental Congress recognized how foolish this was, especially under the circumstances. And it had nothing to do with the hunting rights (or self-defense against Native Americans) that folks in the rural border areas had.

After the Revolutionary War, several individual states would include “gun rights” in their state constitutions. When the general concept came up a (relatively) short time later, in the context of Amendment 2, a central question was if these rights were exclusive to a militia, or did the right apply to individuals? As with so many issues, there was a wide range of opinions on what was needed. Those representing four states in particular -- Massachusetts, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Vermont -- would advocate strongly for the individual’s right. Indeed, one of the topics of conversation was that a state militia could, by definition, allow for the said state to deny individual rights. A proper reading of the history of Amendment 2, as well as of the Constitutional Law related to it, makes clear that it is -- at very least -- intended to protect individual rights, as well as group (militia) rights.

People on both sides of the on-going debate would do well to become more educated about the Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights, and of the detailed history of Constitutional Law. It strikes me as unlikely that any meaningful progress can or will be made by those who base their thinking about this important issue solely upon bias and ignorance. Yet the need to address the brutal realties of violence in America demands action, now.

Peace,
H2O Man

71 replies, 3733 views

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Arrow 71 replies Author Time Post
Reply Amendment 2 Blues (Original post)
H2O Man Dec 2012 OP
jody Dec 2012 #1
H2O Man Dec 2012 #3
jody Dec 2012 #6
H2O Man Dec 2012 #21
jody Dec 2012 #22
H2O Man Dec 2012 #25
jody Dec 2012 #26
coeur_de_lion Dec 2012 #28
jody Dec 2012 #30
coeur_de_lion Dec 2012 #41
jody Dec 2012 #43
coeur_de_lion Dec 2012 #46
jody Dec 2012 #49
Odin2005 Dec 2012 #62
H2O Man Dec 2012 #63
LineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineNew Reply .
NoGOPZone Dec 2012 #65
coeur_de_lion Dec 2012 #67
H2O Man Dec 2012 #31
jody Dec 2012 #34
H2O Man Dec 2012 #35
jody Dec 2012 #36
H2O Man Dec 2012 #39
jmg257 Dec 2012 #40
H2O Man Dec 2012 #44
jmg257 Dec 2012 #47
jmg257 Dec 2012 #50
H2O Man Dec 2012 #51
jmg257 Dec 2012 #54
H2O Man Dec 2012 #58
jmg257 Dec 2012 #59
Odin2005 Dec 2012 #61
bongbong Dec 2012 #2
H2O Man Dec 2012 #4
SQUEE Dec 2012 #5
bongbong Dec 2012 #7
SQUEE Dec 2012 #8
bongbong Dec 2012 #11
SQUEE Dec 2012 #24
jmg257 Dec 2012 #9
H2O Man Dec 2012 #68
L0oniX Dec 2012 #10
bongbong Dec 2012 #12
jody Dec 2012 #14
bongbong Dec 2012 #15
jody Dec 2012 #17
bongbong Dec 2012 #19
jody Dec 2012 #20
madinmaryland Dec 2012 #71
grantcart Dec 2012 #13
Robb Dec 2012 #16
jmg257 Dec 2012 #18
jody Dec 2012 #27
H2O Man Dec 2012 #37
jmg257 Dec 2012 #66
H2O Man Dec 2012 #70
panader0 Dec 2012 #23
H2O Man Dec 2012 #33
coeur_de_lion Dec 2012 #29
H2O Man Dec 2012 #32
coeur_de_lion Dec 2012 #42
H2O Man Dec 2012 #45
coeur_de_lion Dec 2012 #48
H2O Man Dec 2012 #52
coeur_de_lion Dec 2012 #56
coeur_de_lion Dec 2012 #53
H2O Man Dec 2012 #55
coeur_de_lion Dec 2012 #57
libdem4life Dec 2012 #38
H2O Man Dec 2012 #60
spanone Dec 2012 #64
H2O Man Dec 2012 #69

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 02:54 PM

1. You cite PA & VT but those states declared RKBA was "natural, inherent, and

 

inalienable/unalienable rights" of self defense.

SCOTUS recognized the First, Second, and Fourth Amendments as preexisting our Constitution and not depending upon it.

All the other history is interesting but often confuses.

Forty four states recognize the individual RKBA for self-defense.

Anti RKBA types try to derail debate by asserting "So you believe God grants rights?"

They do so because they realize they've lost the argument, rights are natural, inherent, inalienable/unalienable because the PEOPLE SAY SO!

That's the only thing that protects any size minority against the tyranny of a simple majority.

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Response to jody (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 03:02 PM

3. It's not clear

to me what point you are attempting to make. I would suggest that any attempt -- pro or con -- to bring "God" into the conversation is without redeeming value.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 03:14 PM

6. You used "Bill of Rights" and that opens questions as to their source. Your failure to discuss that

 

means your post "is without redeeming value" but perhaps you already knew that?

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Response to jody (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 07:53 PM

21. You are silly.

Not to be confused with serious, or meaningful, in any sense.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #21)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 07:57 PM

22. Since you imply you are serious and meaningful, please define the source of rights you cite in OP.

 

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Response to jody (Reply #22)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 08:43 PM

25. Well, the Bill of Rights

(which contains Amendment 2) is part of the Constitution of the United States. You could "google" the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, or even Amendment 2.

Perhaps you should just go to sleep, and come back tomorrow when you are sober. You'll probably blush when you read the hilarious nonsense that you've been posting, and have a greater appreciation of why it is impossible to take you seriously now.

Good luck to you.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #25)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 08:48 PM

26. Obviously you can't answer a simple question. You really don't know much about "rights" do you! nt

 

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Response to jody (Reply #26)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 09:58 PM

28. Dude you are way too angry -- bad day? Bad week? Year?

Chill out why don't ya!

I think H20 is right - you are gonna hate yourself in the morning.

I hear tomato juice is great for hangovers.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #28)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 10:09 PM

30. LOL you and OP author need to get your facts straight before more posts. nt

 

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Response to jody (Reply #30)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 10:59 PM

41. I didn't state any facts . . . . oh wait I did -- the fact that you are way too angry

and you are gonna hate yourself in the morning. Seriously. Let's call the fact checker on that one, hang on a minute. . . .

Yeah the fact checker said the same thing. Way too pissed off for a democratic message board.

You need to find an angry people unite message board.

Free Republic maybe? I heard the Tea Party is looking for more angry irrational people. Try there.

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Response to jody (Reply #43)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 11:29 PM

46. Oh honey give it a rest would ya?

You are gonna to pull a groin muscle you keep this up. You too excited, by golly.

How about this link? Can you try this one?

https://membership.nrahq.org/forms/signup.asp?campaignid=bonusgiftwy&EK=Y3ARPPBD&pubID=148.30&hid=20063949

They are ALWAYS looking for new members. I bet they even have a message board where they just love to talk about amicus briefs.

Drinking, shooting, running theiir mouths and being very very angry. That is their specialty there. Trust me you are going to feel right at home.

Read the Heller opinion. Dissents and amicus briefs. Man you are too funny. More than you realize -- and I mean that in the most positive way possible.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #46)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 11:41 PM

49. I see you are just another disruptor full of vacuous remarks devoid of substance. Goodbye nt

 

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #28)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 12:07 PM

62. He's mad that his guy lost the election.

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #62)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 12:12 PM

63. Patrick Buchanan?

I wasn't even aware he ran in 2012 !

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #62)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 12:36 PM

65. .

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #62)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 12:53 PM

67. Is that it? Poor him. n/t

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Response to jody (Reply #26)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 10:12 PM

31. Should you show

any ability to ask an intelligent question, I'll be more than happy to answer.

As it is, take a look at the silly stuff you've been spamming here. None of it can be considered sober, intelligent attempts to carry on a conversation. Again, try getting a little sleep, and come back tomorrow. Under the layers of frustrated attempts to say something here, I think it's possible that you may have some contribution to a real discussion.

Keep the faith!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #31)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 10:32 PM

34. 22. "please define the source of rights you cite in OP." I'm betting you can't but you'll reply with

 

another veiled insult.

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Response to jody (Reply #34)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 10:40 PM

35. While I am

being as clear as possible about finding your posts here hilarious -- to the point where I don't think you are making a sober attempt to converse -- let me put this in the most simple, nearly impossible-to-mistake form possible: what source might you be speaking of? The "rights" that I spoke of in the OP are obviously the rights defined by Amendment 2. Perhaps if you could see to it to ask a more specific question, I could help you. I'm always willing to provide sources for those who are sincere in asking a question -- for, until now, I've always thought that Minister Malcolm X (a gun rights advocate) was correct in saying that "the only stupid question is the one that remains unasked." Yet now, I will forever feel obligated to place an * near that quote. Live and learn, I guess.

Your turn.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #35)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 10:44 PM

36. Enough, you've proven you can't answer that simple question so nothing else you post has credibility

 

Have a blissful evening and goodbye

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Response to jody (Reply #36)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 10:58 PM

39. Oh deer!

And here I stand, hoping against hopelessness for your approval. Please, Kind Sir, do me the honor of expounding without limits on your original intentions per citing "God" in this discussion !?! I beg of you.


Sleep it off, and we can talk tomorrow. Okay? Okay.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #35)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 10:59 PM

40. I'll take a shot...Is it your contention that the 2nd amendment, and others, secure

pre-existing right(s), or that that their enumeration in the amendments themselves are where those rights originate?

IF an amendment secures a pre-existing right, where does that right originate?
(inalienable, natural, etc.)

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Response to jmg257 (Reply #40)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 11:16 PM

44. Fair enough.

You ask a clear question.

My answer, intended in all sincerity, is that it doesn't matter if one thinks it was pre-existing or not. Hence, I did not include anything about that tangent in the OP. What does matter is that Amendment 2 is part of our Constitution, and that there is definite Constitutional Law that -- for better or for worse -- documents how the USSC has interpreted it.

Because I believe that you asked this question in a serious, sincere manner, and my answer almost certainly isn't what you were looking for, let me ask you what you think? I'd say that the "right" to self-defense (including defending one's family etc) is a human right, which clearly has been recognized by cultures long before the USA came into existence. It's a right that existed well before western society learned about gun powder. One would be safe in assuming that the majority of those who have attempted to deny others this right, are those who were intent upon exploiting them ....this clearly being the case, for instance, when England sought to force the people of Boston to turn overtheir weapons.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #44)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 11:29 PM

47. Seems like I am with you. The right to self defense certainly is a basic right. But

does that necessarily mean the right to arms is a basic right?

It seems they have been overlapped, especially in our nation's history. But the former can certainly exist without the latter, and with much less argument.

Anyway, I believe, without doubt, the FF thought the right to arms, and all other rights enumerated there, were in no way dependent on the Constitution for their existence. Debates over the Bill of Rights show this pretty clearly.

Which sort of leads to the notion that a militia made up of the body of the people, while smart, the best means of security, and maybe even necessary, is not really a basic human right, just a damn good idea in lieu of the alternative (a large standing army).

On edit: of course realizing an effective miltia made of the body of the people would require the people be free to enjoy the right to arms.

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Response to jmg257 (Reply #47)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 11:47 PM

50. Also realizing, like Madison said..."the restrictions, however strongly marked on paper,

will never be regarded when opposed to the decided sense of the public".

Which to me means, like history has shown, the Constitution and the amendments can be circumvented if enough of we the people want them to be.

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Response to jmg257 (Reply #47)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 11:51 PM

51. Right.

I think that everything in the Constitution is there for a reason. It's worth our while, should we try to be responsible citizens, to learn both "how" and "why" it contains the things it does. I think it's fair to say that the Bill of Rights focuses less on if a specific right existed on its own, and more on the fact that because of human nature, there would be attempts to deny people their rights.

Obviously, it is a good thing that the Constitution, properly understood, was not written on stone tablets. It's not to be worshipped, and kept separate and secret from people in their daily lives. It's the muscles of democracy, in need of constant exercising.

It also provides for some almost humorous contradictions. For example, Amendment 1 provides for freedom of religion. Yet, in 1978, the Congress passed the Native American Religious Freedom Act. Apparently, some viewed Native American belief systems as, well, foreign to the American experience. Thus, these "religions" required something in the way of additional protects in our complex society. And since 1978, the federal courts have been consistent in denying traditional Native Americans religious freedom, and justifying it by way of this law.

Thanks for taking my response in the manner it was intended. I always enjoy civil discussions of even the most emotional of topics found on DU. I appreciate that you do, too.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #51)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 11:58 PM

54. Cheers! And I agree on the points you made.

About purposes of the BOR and learning more about them...besides it can be pretty darn interesting to see what these people thought and why! And tring to see why some (modern day) people just don't see the same things the same way you might.

Speaking of contradictions re: the 1st, likely you would have read this one...

"One of the objections in New England was, that the Constitution, by prohibiting religious tests, opened a door for Jews, Turks, and infidels."


Madison again.

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Response to jmg257 (Reply #54)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 12:01 AM

58. Several times in

the past, I've written at length about the "religious" restrictions that were law in several of the original thirteen states, well after the Revolutionary War. It's some amazing stuff.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #58)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 12:03 AM

59. I do steer into the religious territory from time to time...I'll have to pay more attention. nt

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Response to jody (Reply #26)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 12:06 PM

61. The notion of "Inherent Rights" is nonsense on stilts.

It is logically incoherent and is merely a modernized a democratized form of the Divine Right of kings. Anyone who spouts it is a Libertarian idiot or an average Joe Blow who has internalized the propaganda taught in Civics class.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 02:57 PM

2. Good article on 2nd Amendment

 

It tears up a lot of NRA Talking Points.

http://www.saf.org/LawReviews/SpitzerChicago.htm

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Response to bongbong (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 03:03 PM

4. The NRA

serves the weapons industry exclusively. It discredits itself.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 03:05 PM

5. The dirty truth is

That the Second amendment is there precisely to threaten the state with violence, not hunting, self protection nor sports. it is intended as an almost MAD type of weapon, never to be used UNLESS all other forms of redress were used and failed. With that said, as is often the case after gaining power for themselves the PTB went after those that attacked them for being the same as the tyrants just overthrown, the Whiskey rebellion was ruthlessly crushed by GW. the complaint? Taxation without representation, the so called first cause of the Revolution
Jefferson, the most quoted of the founders on this issue, seemed to have a nihilistic streak that even after seeing firsthand the horrors of the Terror, he could put forth his Tree of liberty bullshit is worrisome.
But I do hold that it is a good thing that the Government has a fear of the people taking up arms, I would hope that this final check in the system is never used, and that any that would prematurely attempt violence in the stead of politics are crushed. I do believe that many in the 1% want us proles to be disarmed and at the mercy of their "benevolence" and reliant on them for our security as well as our livelihoods.
It seems to me the RKBA is more a class issue than a party issue. Look at the power-brokers that want you and I disarmed, wealthy with guards and a police state at their beck and call. A police force more than willing to apply "hickory shampoo", chemical agents and bullets to protect their masters. The Left needs to re-examine its stance on arming itself, before one day the only people with weapons are the police and military.

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Response to SQUEE (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 03:29 PM

7. Hmmm

 

I wondered when a devotee of the "Wolverine Syndrome" would show up on this thread.

BTW, it's thoroughly debunked at the link I provided upthread.

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Response to bongbong (Reply #7)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 03:53 PM

8. Wolverine syndrome.. cute,

But recognizing the purpose of something is far from advocacy. I have seen countries ripped apart by internecine conflict and would rather that not happen here. I have also seen countries under the boot of a small minority of despots, I rather that not happen here as well.
Nevertheless the 2nd as interpreted by many people more knowledgeable than you or I is far from a definitive statement of rights or regulation. Life is far from black and white.

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Response to SQUEE (Reply #8)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 04:17 PM

11. Uh huh

 

> I have seen countries ripped apart by internecine conflict

Um, "rebelling against the gov't", as your first post hinted at, is not internecine conflict.

> I have also seen countries under the boot of a small minority of despots, I rather that not happen here as well.

If you think that a ragtag bunch of cowardly (they *are* so scared that they own weapons) gun owners will be able to challenge the massive and overwhelming firepower the US Gov't has, I have an offer: I own a bridge that I'm willing to sell you. You can charge tolls on it, and make alot of money!

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Response to bongbong (Reply #11)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 08:13 PM

24. I wonder...

How many Georgians or even Chechens were overly proud of the Red Army? I wager it didn't last much longer than the time it took the Russians to shoot at their former Soviet comrades.. history, it so often rhymes.
Sleep well in your certainty of the parochial nature of the MIC. The military is by it's very nature conservative, and Smedley Butler questions your precept that the Military serves the people.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 03:59 PM

9. That certainly was a long way of saying...just what exactly? nt

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Response to jmg257 (Reply #9)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 01:53 PM

68. and your bird can sing

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 04:03 PM

10. The 2nd amendment is now an NRA talking point too.

Let's eliminate talking points now before it's too late!

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #10)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 04:17 PM

12. LOL

 

Not the 2nd Amendment, just the Delicate Flower's mis-interpretation of it.

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Response to bongbong (Reply #12)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 05:47 PM

14. bongbong why don't you consolidate all your insults and other vilifications into one post because

 

you keep repeating yourself.

That way you could just post "see bongbong #" and we would know immediately it was just another of your dung beetle efforts:

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Response to jody (Reply #14)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 06:09 PM

15. I love these types of posts!

 

"You're insulting us tough gun owners too much! Don't you know we're delicate? Flowers, even! Well, I'll show you how bad it is to insult somebody by doing it to you! Two wrongs make a right! And even if you're not insulting us we'll claim you are since that way your pesky facts will be ignored! ALL HAIL MY PRECIOUS! I need it to get up enough courage to crawl out from under my bed!"

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Response to bongbong (Reply #15)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 06:30 PM

17. bongbong do you have a link to any study that equates insults with intelligence?

 

Those I've found suggest there's a negative correlation but I'm sure you can cite more positive findings.

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Response to jody (Reply #17)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 06:41 PM

19. LOL

 

What, don't they have that in your NRA Talking Points handbook?

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Response to bongbong (Reply #19)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 06:52 PM

20. bongbong you frequently refer to NRA Talking Points. Do you have a link to them or is that just

 

another figment of your imagination?

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Response to jody (Reply #14)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 05:21 PM

71. The Delicate Flower resorts to insults.


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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 05:04 PM

13. Excellent except on one point



A proper reading of the history of Amendment 2, as well as of the Constitutional Law related to it, makes clear that it is -- at very least -- intended to protect individual rights, as well as group (militia) rights.



The second ammendment was explicitly ambiguous. We know that by using the tool of literary criticism and reading of the first ammendment.



Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.



compared to the second ammendment



As passed by the Congress:

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.



In other words if they wanted to make it an explicitly worded right for individuals they knew how to do so, as is showed by the clear unambiguous language of the first ammendment.

It is also clear that the emphasis was on the militia part of the formula when you look at Madison's original ammendment



James Madison's initial proposal for a bill of rights was brought to the floor of the House of Representatives on June 8, 1789, during the first session of Congress. The initial proposed passage relating to arms was:


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.



In any case the phrase "well regulated", almost universally forgotten by the NRA, indicates that unlike the freedom of speech which needed no qualifying phrases the freedom to bear arms is one that had to be done in the context of regulations that would also safeguard society.

The NRA has an excellent record of fighting bans on guns in court but almost never challenge regulations in court because it is such an integral part of the constitution.

The second ammendment was clearly designed to incorporate the idea of protections of individuals to form into organized groups to save the constitution and not an absolute right to bear guns for individuals.

Of course that doesn't mean that gun owners cannot argue that the constitution doesn't implicitly support their individual rights to own a gun along the same lines that we argue that privacy laws support a woman's right to control her own body. However if the writer's of the first ammendment wanted to make an explicit clear statement for individual ownership of fire arms they were capable of doing so. They didn't do it in the second ammendment, perhaps they didn't even think it was necessary to do so.

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Response to grantcart (Reply #13)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 06:22 PM

16. Indeed. All part of the fun of being a nation of laws.

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Response to grantcart (Reply #13)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 06:39 PM

18. "Well regulated" quite cleary refers to "militia", and has little to do with the right to arms,

other then stating the people should be well trained in the use of them, and they should be quite effective.

Of course this ideal of well-functioning militias was seen to in the body of the Constitution, when it was left to the Congress, and not the states, to come with definite guidelines for how they would be organized, trained, and armed (i.e. uniformly), since effective Militias reduced the need for a standing army.

It was these militia powers that lead to the 2nd - to ensure the people would always be armed, and could NOT be dis-armed by the new govt.

The Militias already existed, and were recognized and mandated and assigned vital duties in the body, so there was no need to further protect the militias themselves as entities (though their importance was declared).

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Response to jmg257 (Reply #18)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 09:10 PM

27. Yes Congress has all the authority it needs for the militia in Article I, Section 8, clauses 15 & 16

 

Second Amendment adds no militia authority.

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to procreate, shall not be infringed" would restrict that activity to the militia.

SCOTUS used a similar analogy in Heller.

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Response to grantcart (Reply #13)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 10:55 PM

37. "A proper reading of

the history of Amendment 2" is what is needed to clear up the possible confusion that you correctly note. For a couple of good examples, both extremely well-documented, I'd suggest reading "The Original Understanding of the Second Amendment," by Stephen P. Halbrook, and "Minimalist Interpretations of the Second Amendment," by Don B. Kates, Jr.

Halbrook, while not my favorite attorney, also wrote a solid (if unattractive) book in 1984, titled "Let Every Man Be Armed" (University of New Mexico Press). Kates was a partner in a law firm in San Francisco. Both men were widely recognized as "Constitutional scholars" who specialized in Amendment 2 issues.

I'm not in agreement with much of either's philosophy. However -- rare as it is on DU these days -- I advocate reading the thoughful opinions of people who one disagrees, even strongly, with. Not only do these two gentlemen make a strong case for their opinions on Amendment 2's definitely, without any question, being about both group and individual rights per guns, but they provide solid proof that, as a matter of Constitutional Law, the federal courts (including the USSC) have consistently ruled that way, too.

(Note: a fun activity might be found in asking DUers exactly what phrase was almost included in Amendment 2; where it would have been stated; and about the discussions/ debates that resulted in its not being included.)

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #37)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 12:40 PM

66. You mean Madison's religious exemption, or the Senate's 'for the common defence'?

The latter would have been much more...helpful...as it relates to defining just what the 'original intent' was, IF it was included.

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Response to jmg257 (Reply #66)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 04:04 PM

70. Madison's comments in

The Federalist No. 46 is also important reading. And Noah Webster made some important points, as well.

DU, if used properly, could be a forum for education and meaningful discussion on this (and other) topics. It's a shame that so many here these days seem invested on preventing that from happening.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 08:03 PM

23. Great post

It gave me a sense of how the Constitution is more of an organic,living document rather than one that was cast permanently in stone centuries ago.
Plus, I like the way you start your posts with an appropriate quote.

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Response to panader0 (Reply #23)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 10:21 PM

33. There's been a

lot of foolishness on DU:GD in the past two weeks. Still, there's been some decent-to-good opinions to be found. In particular, I liked friend Will Pitt's noting that DU doesn't resemble DU as of late .....there's always been some off-the-wall stuff, I suppose, and a small number of angry, confused individuals here. But it has been strange here in recent days, and some of the truly disturbed comments are from non-troll, non-republicans. This thread has free samples of that type of crap!

Years ago (in 1973), Rubin Carter brought that Twain quote to my attention.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 10:00 PM

29. "the need to address the brutal realties of violence in America demands action, now."

Hear, hear.

Fabulous post as usual my dear H20.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #29)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 10:15 PM

32. Thanks.

I anticipated that it would sink quicker than the Titanic (little Irish joke for a favorite Irish lady). But there are a few interesting responses ..... I've gotta take the time to reply to them, rather than the nonsense-spouting chap. Yet, he is providing an on-going giggle.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #32)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 11:01 PM

42. I know isn't he FUN? More than he realizes n/t

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #42)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 11:24 PM

45. At first, I thought

maybe he had a point that he was trying to make. Even the inarticulate have the right to be heard, in my opinion, so I politely asked for clarification. Although I've read (far too) many OP/threads arguing about guns etc, his bit about "God" was the first of its kind that I've seen here. So I attempted to gentle suggest that he instead focus on saying something that made sense.

My mistake. I have no problem in admitting that I erred in thinking there might be something of even small value in his contribution here. But I like to think that most people have something resembling a good side, and as you know, I enjoy civil conversations.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #45)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 11:38 PM

48. no conversation going on with this fruity person

It's one sided. Just a very angry gun owner clearly. Don't get me wrong I like gun owners -- I am one and I am about to marry one. But damn son this guy/gal is a couple sandwiches short of a picnic.

I'm reporting == only I don't know which post to report, there are so many.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #48)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 11:56 PM

52. Oh, please don't

"report" on anything on this thread. It's actually kind of funny: in the OP, I take the position that Amendment 2 provides for individual rights. I suspect that's our curiously confused friend's position -- it's hard to say for sure -- but he's not able to make any clear, meaningful statement.

I think he should be able to read this stuff tomorrow.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #52)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 11:59 PM

56. Read this stuff? Not if our friends Jack and Daniel have anything to say about it.

That stuff makes for a really mean hangover.

If you're gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #45)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 11:56 PM

53. You know the ignore function?

Try ignoring our crazy friend. You'll see all his/her posts go away and you will realize that more than half the posts on this thread belong to him/her. Or it.

Then maybe try un-ignoring it. And see if it starts answering itself. Could be interesting.

Good to see you old friend.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #53)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 11:58 PM

55. A pallus day

on DU. Ha!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #55)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 12:00 AM

57. Ah the memories. Bless her. Martha that is.

Good times.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 10:56 PM

38. K & R

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Response to libdem4life (Reply #38)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 11:59 AM

60. Thank you

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 12:22 PM

64. k&r... a voice of reason among the insanity

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Response to spanone (Reply #64)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 03:15 PM

69. Thank you.

I suspect that I merely appear "sane," compared to some of our DU friends. However, even as a mad man, I am able to research interesting topics! (grin)

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