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Fri Jul 20, 2012, 11:31 PM

The historical context of the 2nd amendment

It is very clear from the way the founders used the term "well-regulated militia" in contexts other than the Constitution that they intended that such a militia was to be used for defense of the country INSTEAD OF a peacetime standing army. Given that guns were widely available and used for self-defense and getting dinner, all that was neccessary for a defense force was that citizens get together occasionally for drills. A navy to protect shipping was a different matter, to be handled separately.

What, sir, is the use of militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty. . . Whenever Government means to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise a standing army upon its ruins.
—Elbridge Gerry, of Massachusetts during a debate in U.S. House of Representatives, August 17, 1789

That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural and safe defense of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that, in all cases, the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.
—Virginia Declaration of Rights 13 (June 12, 1776), drafted by George Mason

Whenever people entrust the defense of their country to a regular, standing army, composed of mercenaries, the power of that country will remain under the direction of the most wealthy citizens.
—“A Framer,” in the Independent Gazetteer, 1791

None but an armed nation can dispense with a standing army.
—Thomas Jefferson

large and permanent military establishments which are forbidden by the principles of free government, and against the necessity of which the militia were meant to be a constitutional bulwark.
—James Madison, Fourth Annual Message, November 4, 1812

A standing army is one of the greatest mischief that can possibly happen.
—James Madison

Quotes from
http://polyticks.com/polyticks/beararms/fathers.htm
http://en.thinkexist.com/keyword/standing_army

13 replies, 1574 views

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Arrow 13 replies Author Time Post
Reply The historical context of the 2nd amendment (Original post)
eridani Jul 2012 OP
NYC_SKP Jul 2012 #1
eridani Jul 2012 #2
A HERETIC I AM Jul 2012 #3
eridani Jul 2012 #4
NutmegYankee Jul 2012 #5
TreasonousBastard Jul 2012 #7
safeinOhio Jul 2012 #6
eridani Jul 2012 #8
TreasonousBastard Jul 2012 #9
eridani Jul 2012 #10
eliminerlesud Jul 2012 #11
eridani Jul 2012 #13
scarletwoman Jul 2012 #12

Response to eridani (Original post)

Fri Jul 20, 2012, 11:34 PM

1. We ought not to give up our rights....

...the current government will do too good a job of that without our helping them out.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #1)

Fri Jul 20, 2012, 11:43 PM

2. We've given them up to the 1%

Whenever people entrust the defense of their country to a regular, standing army, composed of mercenaries, the power of that country will remain under the direction of the most wealthy citizens.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Fri Jul 20, 2012, 11:46 PM

3. QUICK!! What's the 3rd Amendment? (No peeking)

Since you are talking historical context, I find it interesting the 3rd comes before being secure in your papers, etc, the right to a speedy trial, the right to due process, to a trial by jury etc, etc, etc.


I also find it amusing that most people who I have had second amendment arguments with have NO IDEA what the 3rd is.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #3)

Fri Jul 20, 2012, 11:50 PM

4. Start your own thread n/t

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #3)

Fri Jul 20, 2012, 11:52 PM

5. It is the only amendment that really have never needed to be invoked to prevent something.

It was passed to ban an activity that really outraged the colonists.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #3)

Sat Jul 21, 2012, 12:59 AM

7. That would be about quartering of troops in peacetime...

which is the only one of the first eight to have fewer court fights on it than the second. And I didn't have to peek.

(The last two don't lend themselves to litigation)

Now, with all this yakking on about rights, the second amendment is the only one to invent a right that has no philosophical or legal antecedent. Yeah-- it's entirely made up due to some odd political bullshit going on at the time and really has no more relevance to modern times than the original articles on slavery or only men being able to vote.

If anyone who calls owning guns anything more than an invented US right and thinks it's a basic human right, please show me where in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, or any other discussion of rights, or any other industrialized country where unimpeded ownership of arms is considered a basic right.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sat Jul 21, 2012, 12:11 AM

6. Thom Hartman's take on the Second, and I agree.





The Switzerland model fits it well.

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Response to safeinOhio (Reply #6)

Sat Jul 21, 2012, 01:19 AM

8. This goes way beyond my handful of quotes

Bookmarked--I never fail to learn something new every time I listen to him.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sat Jul 21, 2012, 01:30 AM

9. We see how well the "no standing army"...

idea worked. Back then it made a lot of sense, and probably could be argued it makes sense now. But, the problems with our standing army now, and arguments for it, are things they might never imagined back then.

Militias, otoh, don't really have much to say for themselves. As the Civil War proved, they don't work very well against a common enemy and in the modern world we can't imagine a defense based on state militias making more than a token defense against Hitler and Tojo. Or being a credible threat to a nuclear Soviet Union.

However, Scalia and his "original intent" minions once again ignored the original intent of the founders, so history doesn't count any more.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #9)

Sat Jul 21, 2012, 05:36 AM

10. The Swiss army comes fairly close to the founders' intent

--for a modern army. They have a professional corps to manage the volunteers, but I have no idea of the ratios involved. Citizen soldiers keep some pretty high-powered weapons at home, but ammo is very stricttly regulated.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sat Jul 21, 2012, 06:19 AM

11. Follow the Money in the Constitution

 

Article 1, Section 7 spells out how the Army gets it money
In theory we should not have a standing Army or Air Force for that matter

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Response to eliminerlesud (Reply #11)

Sat Jul 21, 2012, 03:40 PM

13. Thanks for the pointer

Getting about time to re-read the whole thing again.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sat Jul 21, 2012, 11:14 AM

12. *kick*

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