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Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:16 PM

 

Is the Federal Government supposed to be giving citizens weapons?

I posed this question in another thread and it was suggested that I make it it's own thread for discussion. So please bear with the noob. . . and here we go.

We are all familiar with the Second Amendment, but the "militia" is also mentioned in Article 1 Section 8 of our Constitution. Section 8 seems to be the catch all place in the Constitution that has many things lumped into it. We find the power to declare war, establish post offices, roads, etc. But what I want to discuss is paragraph 16 that reads:

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;


(Please note that this is not about raising an army as that is addressed in paragraph 12, this is about the militia.)

I've read some that dismiss this section of Article 1 as being the modern National Guard, and that is all there is to it now. The problem with that though, is the National Guard is only a "part" of the Militia. Specifically the National Guard would be the "such Part of them ("them" being the Militia whole) as may be employed in the Service of the United States". But, the Constitution clearly says to "arm" the whole Militia; not to just arm the part of the Militia that is being paid by the Government.

So it looks to me that the Federal Government is supposed to equip all citizens (the whole of the militia) with a rifle and pistol just like our regular military forces are issued (regulated) and the states are supposed to assign officers and provide for the training. The big question then becomes, how do we get the Federal Government to start doing this?

51 replies, 3153 views

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Arrow 51 replies Author Time Post
Reply Is the Federal Government supposed to be giving citizens weapons? (Original post)
jbgood1977 Nov 2012 OP
BainsBane Nov 2012 #1
jbgood1977 Nov 2012 #5
BainsBane Nov 2012 #7
glacierbay Nov 2012 #9
BainsBane Nov 2012 #10
glacierbay Nov 2012 #16
BainsBane Nov 2012 #18
jbgood1977 Nov 2012 #21
glacierbay Nov 2012 #22
rl6214 Nov 2012 #48
PavePusher Nov 2012 #11
BainsBane Nov 2012 #13
jbgood1977 Nov 2012 #17
PavePusher Nov 2012 #29
Tuesday Afternoon Nov 2012 #39
jbgood1977 Nov 2012 #14
BainsBane Nov 2012 #15
jbgood1977 Nov 2012 #19
Eleanors38 Nov 2012 #36
PavePusher Nov 2012 #25
Eleanors38 Nov 2012 #34
Jenoch Nov 2012 #49
4th law of robotics Nov 2012 #2
MynameisBlarney Nov 2012 #24
PavePusher Nov 2012 #30
MynameisBlarney Nov 2012 #32
rzemanfl Nov 2012 #3
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #42
glacierbay Nov 2012 #44
discntnt_irny_srcsm Nov 2012 #45
ProgressiveProfessor Nov 2012 #4
jbgood1977 Nov 2012 #8
ProgressiveProfessor Nov 2012 #12
jbgood1977 Nov 2012 #27
DonP Nov 2012 #37
Tuesday Afternoon Nov 2012 #40
Starboard Tack Nov 2012 #6
oldbanjo Nov 2012 #35
ProgressiveProfessor Nov 2012 #43
BainsBane Nov 2012 #20
jbgood1977 Nov 2012 #23
slackmaster Nov 2012 #28
PavePusher Nov 2012 #31
Tuesday Afternoon Nov 2012 #41
discntnt_irny_srcsm Nov 2012 #46
slackmaster Nov 2012 #26
Agnosticsherbet Nov 2012 #33
jeepnstein Nov 2012 #38
holdencaufield Nov 2012 #51
Tuesday Afternoon Nov 2012 #47
holdencaufield Nov 2012 #50

Response to jbgood1977 (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:17 PM

1. You cannot be serious

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:32 PM

5. Can you seriously show me where my reading of what the Constitution says is wrong?

 

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Response to jbgood1977 (Reply #5)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:36 PM

7. firstly, your not a constitutional scholar

nor am I. These provisions have been interpreted by the courts for generations, and there is precedent determining their reading. Picking up a passage and reading it with no background in constitutional law and legal precedent is meaningless.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #7)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:37 PM

9. And you know that h/she isn't a Constitutional Scholar how? nt.

 

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Response to glacierbay (Reply #9)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:37 PM

10. from his OP

It's obvious

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #10)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:41 PM

16. Where in th OP does it state he/she isn't a constitutional scholar?

 

Not saying the OP is, but nowhere does it say they aren't. And if, by your own admission, you're not, then how do you know?
Different scholars come to different conclusions.

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Response to glacierbay (Reply #16)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:42 PM

18. I know because he does not cite legal precedent

and his reading is clearly naive. I am not a constitutional scholar but I do have a background in legal history. So I have some sense of what I'm reading.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #18)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:44 PM

21. You claimed there is precedent on this paragraph yet did not provide any links.

 

Please provide the links to what has been decided on this Section of Article 1.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #18)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:45 PM

22. Fair enough

 

but different scholars and historians have different interpretations of the constitution and different opinions make for better discussions.
BTW, welcome to the gungeon.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #10)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 11:18 PM

48. Kind of like your instead of you're in your post

 

That's how you know?

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #7)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:38 PM

11. One need not be a degreed and lettered personage to read and understand the plain meanings....

 

of the Constitution and the many explainatory writings of its creators.

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #11)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:40 PM

13. it quite clearly is not a plain meaning

Are you all too cheap to buy your own guns now?

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #13)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:42 PM

17. The document was purposely written in plain language of the time.

 

It is not a secrete with secrete meanings. Please do not disparage those participating in this discussion. Please keep on topic.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #13)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:49 PM

29. "it quite clearly is not a plain meaning"

 

By what reasoning/evidence do you make this claim?

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #13)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 04:40 PM

39. exactly where would the money for said guns come from in the first place?

my taxes or yours?

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #7)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:40 PM

14. The Constitution is plainly written.

 

It was done so on purpose; so that everyone can read it and understand it. If you have some citations for courts finding on this paragraph please post them. I'm eager to read what has been written on this. As an American citizen I have every right to read and discuss the meaning of the Constitution. After all, the constitution was written for all of us, not just the elite.

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Response to jbgood1977 (Reply #14)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:41 PM

15. You can read and discuss all you want

but SCOTUS determines constitutionality

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #15)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:43 PM

19. I'll ask again. Do you have links on any court determinations on this paragraph?

 

I'm eager to read what has been discussed and/or decided.

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Response to jbgood1977 (Reply #14)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 01:24 PM

36. Before this thread is highjacked by educational theory, let me offer this...

When the militia actually reported during the Revolutionary War, the members were required to bring their own arm (suitable for service, and in proper working order), at least some ammunition, and be able to use that arm; this IMO was the core definition of a "well-regulated militia."

Now, if someone reported, but did not have a suitable functioning arm, one would be provided (with the militia member's pay docked until the debt was retired). Or, the militia member could on his own acquire a suitable weapon. So, a qualified "yes:" The government could provide you with a weapon at your own expense.

Incidentally, the cost of a suitable firearm then was around 5 - 7 dollars (or the British equivalent in currency).

I drew on information from American Rifle: A Biography, by Rose.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #7)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:47 PM

25. P.S. Neither are you a grammatician, apparently.

 

That must mean you shouldn't feel free to simply make comments at will on the internet, amIrite?

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #7)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 01:15 PM

34. Goodness, such an elite perspective on the learning process...

The OP is how people learn.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 12:27 AM

49. "your"?

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Response to jbgood1977 (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:18 PM

2. Heads would explode if that happened

 

particularly when and if that didn't lead to any sort of increase in crime whatsoever (like say in Switzerland).

/I don't think we *should* do this. But I would get a good laugh if we did because of the absolute hysterical outrage it would generate.

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:46 PM

24. Don't they withhold the ammo

in Switzerland? And isn't yearly training mandatory?

I will have to google this and read up on it.

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Response to MynameisBlarney (Reply #24)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:54 PM

30. They issued a sealed basic battle-pack that was to be used for any initial conflict...

 

until one managed to arrive at a reporting point. I don't know if this is still the case, there was an attempt to stop the issuance of ammo.

You could buy as much personnal practice ammo as you wanted, as I understand it.

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #30)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:57 PM

32. Interesting.

I will definitely have to read up on this when I get home.

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Response to jbgood1977 (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:19 PM

3. If I recall correctly the national marksmanship program used to provide gun clubs

with M1 rifles years ago. I shot one in the early '70s. Very disconcerting when the clip came out.

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Response to rzemanfl (Reply #3)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 04:58 PM

42. "Very disconcerting when the clip came out." That was exactly the sentiments of some of those who

 

fought in WW II and Korea.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #42)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 08:55 PM

44. And the distinctive noise it made coming out

 

signaled to the enemy that the rifle was empty.

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Response to glacierbay (Reply #44)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 10:27 PM

45. Which provided...

...an excellent opportunity for the fellow trying to shoot you to double his efforts...


...at which time your neighbor, who'd been holding his fire through you eight rounds, would announce himself with a 150 grain HELLO, as soon as that other fellow broke cover.



As the Marines say, "The rifle isn't the weapon, I am."

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Response to jbgood1977 (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:24 PM

4. Actually it has been selling older weapons to civilians for quite some time

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #4)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:36 PM

8. My father purchased a Garand through DCM

 

a long long time ago. But what I'm looking at here is the .gov issuing an M-4 rifle and Beretta handgun to every member of the Militia free of charge. And probably issue ammo for training annually. It would be the same model the Swiss use.

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Response to jbgood1977 (Reply #8)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:38 PM

12. It would cause too many meltdowns

though there are some I would not mind seeing, .i.e. Bloomberg

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #12)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:47 PM

27. OMG! I had not considered His reaction. . . That would be fun to watch.

 

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Response to jbgood1977 (Reply #8)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 02:57 PM

37. The CMP is still selling them

Thanks to the CMP I have 2 Garands, an M1 Carbine and an '03 Springfield as well as several cases of 30-06 and 30 carbine shipped straight to my office door, even in Illinois (but not Crook county).

Always funny when ammo arrives...

"What's in the ammo can?"

"Open it and see."

"OMG! It's full of ammo!"

"Ummmm, that's probably why they call it an ammo can."

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Response to jbgood1977 (Reply #8)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 04:44 PM

40. Free of Charge? Trust me -- it would cost somebody, something. Probably all of us, in the way of

taxation.

Frick it. I will pick and choose and purchase my own guns.

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Response to jbgood1977 (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:35 PM

6. Why not, if it is a right?

How else are we going to be ready to defend ourselves against Texas after it secedes? At present, gun ownership is a privilege for those who can afford it.

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Response to Starboard Tack (Reply #6)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 01:17 PM

35. If that happens I'll loan you one.

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Response to Starboard Tack (Reply #6)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 08:50 PM

43. +1 on the classist angle

TPTB in CA, NYC and elsewhere have made guns more expensive than need be for the less affluent.

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Response to jbgood1977 (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:43 PM

20. I'm out guys

Have at it. I responded to this thread because it was in latest threads. You boys play with your guns all you like.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #20)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:46 PM

23. But but but, you never provided any links to your claims? Why?

 

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #20)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:48 PM

28. No fair. I just got here and haven't had a chance to piss you off.

 

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #20)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:55 PM

31. So, the Constitution is not meant to be read by the commoners then? n/t

 

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #20)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 04:46 PM

41. boys? excuse me. I got here late to this thread.

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Response to Tuesday Afternoon (Reply #41)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 10:30 PM

46. I'm sure there was no...

...disrespect intended.

Cool turkey, btw

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Response to jbgood1977 (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:47 PM

26. Civilian Marksmanship Program

 

Read up on it here:

http://www.odcmp.com/

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Response to jbgood1977 (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 01:01 PM

33. No.The Second Militia Act of 1792 very specifically requires the militia to buy their own equipment.

http://www.ask.com/wiki/Militia_Acts_of_1792

In any case, The Second Militia Act of 1792 (used to raise a military to fight the Whiskey Rebellion" required all en 18 to 45 to " arm themselves with a musket, bayonet and belt, two spare flints, a cartridge box with 24 bullets, and a knapsack. Men owning rifles were required to provide a powder horn, 1/4 pound of gun powder, 20 rifle balls, a shooting pouch, and a knapsack."

So, the founding fathers not only didn't require the government to arm the militia, they required the militia they raised to buy their own damn guns, ammunition, spare flints, and all the equipment they'd need to go to war with rebellious bootleggers trying to overthrow the government by using non-standard money.

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Response to jbgood1977 (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 03:35 PM

38. I've got no problem with it.

It wouldn't bother me in the least if the Government handed me an M4 and told me it was my job to get ready for the alien invasion. Well, the alien invasion part would be pretty darned creepy but the rifle wouldn't be a big deal. I'd probably have questions if they told me some evil alien overlord was coming to harvest us like livestock. My first question would be "Got more ammo?"

Around these parts everyone is already armed to the teeth for the most part and we really don't have shootouts in the middle of the street. We occasionally have a criminal who gets shot for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or a drug dealer killed by a business rival, but very few normal every day citizens are showing up in the ER with bullet wounds. Even during deer season the carnage is minimal. So I'm thinking your average everyday normal American citizen is either amazingly lucky or folks are pretty responsible with their firearms.

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Response to jeepnstein (Reply #38)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 01:08 AM

51. You don't need guns for an alien invasion ...

 

... if it's the "Signs" invasion -- you just need super soakers and cricket bats.

... if it's the "Independence Day" invasion -- you only need a Jew with a Powerbook

... if it's the "War of the Worlds" invasion -- you will need people who are sexually appealing to aliens and have open sores on their mouths.

... if it's the "Mars Attacks" invasion -- you'll need to enlist the assistance of the Columbia Record Club in distributing Slim Whitman LPs to senior citizens

... if it's the "Predator" invasion -- that might be a little bit tricky -- Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Glover have become a bit too doughy to fend them off. I suggest we prepare now by shackling them both to a treadmill (separately) until they get back in shape.


Guns aren't only useless against our potential alien overlords, they're simply not creative.

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Response to jbgood1977 (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 10:41 PM

47. What everyone seems to be forgetting here is that regardless of how the weapons

are distributed the money comes from us, the taxpayer. In essence, we are always buying our own guns. Some we keep and some we would share with our fellow Americans if this suggestion would come to pass.

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Response to jbgood1977 (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 12:59 AM

50. While I'm all in favour of free guns ...

 

... both as a way to get rid of those pesky budget surpluses and a fun way to buy Republican votes ... my entire Zombie Apocalypse strategy relies on me be better-armed than my gentrified, chardonnay-sipping, suburban neighbours.

I'm counting on using the larger ones as zombie decoys and the stronger ones as a post-apocalyptic labour pool to construct my Thunderdome (tm) and my methane power plant.

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