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Reply #71: US v. Miller provides historical background on the second amendment [View All]

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hansberrym Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-08-04 02:02 AM
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71. US v. Miller provides historical background on the second amendment
Consider the preamble, as it is sometimes called, to the Second Amendment and note the parallels to the preamble a contemporary militia act that was cited in US v. Miller:

The General Assembly of Virginia, October, 1785 (12 Henings Statutes c. 1, p. 9 et seq.), declared: The defense and safety of the commonwealth depend upon having its citizens properly armed and taught the knowledge of military duty.

Preamble (for lack of a better word) to Second Amendment:
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state,...

Note that the phrase "A well regulated militia" has the same meaning as "citizens properly armed and taught the knowledge of military duty", and the phrase "security of a free state" has the same meaning as "the defense and safety of the commonwealth". Furthermore the statement A "is necessary" to B, is the same as B "depends" on A.

Note also how the Supreme Court in Miller defined the militia:
"With obvious purpose to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of such forces the declaration and guarantee of the Second Amendment were made. It must be interpreted and applied with that end in view. The Militia which the States were expected to maintain and train is set in contrast with Troops which they <307 U.S. 174, 179> were forbidden to keep without the consent of Congress. The sentiment of the time strongly disfavored standing armies; the common view was that adequate defense of country and laws could be secured through the Militia- civilians primarily, soldiers on occasion.

The signification attributed to the term Militia appears from the debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of Colonies and States, and the writings of approved commentators. These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. A body of citizens enrolled for military discipline. And further, that ordinarily when called for service these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time. Blackstones Commentaries, Vol. 2, Ch. 13, p. 409 points out that king Alfred first settled a national militia in this kingdom and traces the subsequent development and use of such forces."

And how the Miller court used the words "to keep and bear arms" to mean possession or use of arms in the actual holding:
"In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense. Aymette v. State of Tennessee, 2 Humph., Tenn., 154, 158."


"And further, that ordinarily when called for service these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time.


"The General Assembly of Virginia, October, 1785...It further provided for organization and control of the Militia and directed that All free male persons between the ages of eighteen and fifty years, with certain exceptions, shall be inrolled or formed into companies. There shall be a private muster of every company once in two months. Also that Every officer and soldier shall appear at his respective muster-field on the day appointed, by eleven oclock in the forenoon, armed, equipped, and accoutred, as follows: ... every non-commissioned officer and private with a good, clean musket carrying an ounce ball, and three feet eight inches long in the barrel, with a good bayonet and iron ramrod well fitted thereto, a cartridge box properly made, to contain and secure twenty cartridges fitted to his musket, a good knapsack and canteen, and moreover, each non-commissioned officer and private shall have at every muster one pound of good <307 U.S. 174, 182> powder, and four pounds of lead, including twenty blind cartridges; and each serjeant shall have a pair of moulds fit to cast balls for their respective companies, to be purchased by the commanding officer out of the monies arising on delinquencies. Provided, That the militia of the counties westward of the Blue Ridge, and the counties below adjoining thereto, shall not be obliged to be armed with muskets, but may have good rifles with proper accoutrements, in lieu thereof. And every of the said officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates, shall constantly keep the aforesaid arms, accoutrements, and ammunition, ready to be produced whenever called for by his commanding officer. If any private shall make it appear to the satisfaction of the court hereafter to be appointed for trying delinquencies under this act that he is so poor that he cannot purchase the arms herein required, such court shall cause them to be purchased out of the money arising from delinquents."

The Collective Rights advocates reject everything the Supreme Court said about the meaning of the words/terms of the second amendment, and cling to a perverted interpretation of the Court's holding(cited earlier). That holding explains the Supreme Court's rationale for reversing a lower court decision which had overturned, on second amendment grounds, Mr. Miller's earlier conviction for illegally possessing a sawed-off shotgun. The Collective Rights advocates claim to be faithful to the Supreme Court precedent in Miller, yet they substitute their own definitions for the actuall definitions and usage given by the Supreme Court.

Furthermore, every Collective Rights opinion has been decided on the basis of standing, yet the collective rights advocates ignore that the Supreme Court in Miller remanded the Miller case for further proceedings. It is difficult to imagine that the Supreme Court would remand a case for further proceeding if Mr. Miller did not have standing to bring a second amendment defense, or that the Supreme Court would waste the lower court's time determining whether the possession or use of a PARTICULAR weapon had a reasonable relationship to the preservation of a well regulated militia, had it actually been the case that Mr Miller had NO right to keep and bear ANY type of weapon.

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  -I'm a leftie. Here is my take on the second amendment mdmc  Aug-07-04 03:19 PM   #0 
  - I say  Dookus   Aug-07-04 03:24 PM   #1 
  - Only if your named Entergy. Give me your take, sir.  mdmc   Aug-07-04 03:29 PM   #4 
  - The only honest answer is  Dookus   Aug-07-04 03:37 PM   #11 
     - I think that the essence is one of ownership, of securing property  mdmc   Aug-07-04 03:44 PM   #19 
        - well  Dookus   Aug-07-04 03:48 PM   #20 
           - What I THINK it may have been for  Barret   Aug-07-04 08:26 PM   #62 
  - a bunch of guys with AK-47s and RPGs  BlueCollar   Aug-07-04 03:30 PM   #5 
  - they've defeated the US military?  Dookus   Aug-07-04 03:32 PM   #7 
  - more to the point  BlueCollar   Aug-07-04 03:40 PM   #15 
  - true  Dookus   Aug-07-04 03:43 PM   #18 
     - They ARE trying as hard as they can, and stay within the pale of...  Crachet2004   Aug-07-04 11:01 PM   #67 
     - Insurgents didn't win many battles in Vietnam, nor in Afghanistan...  gtrump   Aug-08-04 09:10 AM   #94 
  - in Afghanistan  mdmc   Aug-07-04 03:48 PM   #21 
  - again  Dookus   Aug-07-04 03:53 PM   #23 
  - Not defeated, but are still resisting effectively.  PeaceForever   Aug-07-04 05:30 PM   #49 
  - Viet Nam  jukes   Aug-08-04 09:41 PM   #115 
  - Exactly right. I think a lot of Americans are more "shocked and awed",  Crachet2004   Aug-07-04 10:48 PM   #66 
  - The Mahdi Army seems to be doing pretty well against our army.  Shoeempress   Aug-07-04 03:32 PM   #6 
  - You're making assumptions that may be wrong.  gsh999   Aug-07-04 03:33 PM   #8 
  - well I think  Dookus   Aug-07-04 03:41 PM   #16 
     - As far as banding together to fight the government ...  gsh999   Aug-07-04 03:55 PM   #26 
     - You should tell the military to turn in their handguns then  Columbia   Aug-08-04 11:34 AM   #101 
     - Seriously, study the history of colonial and early America.  PeaceForever   Aug-07-04 05:34 PM   #50 
  - They're doing just fine w/o tanks and MOABs in Mosul, aren't they?  BiggJawn   Aug-07-04 04:24 PM   #45 
  - again  Dookus   Aug-07-04 04:36 PM   #47 
     - We would also be defeated though.  PeaceForever   Aug-07-04 05:36 PM   #51 
     - The scenario you just mentioned is that of "George Washingtons Dream".  Crachet2004   Aug-07-04 11:11 PM   #68 
     - Well, I suppose if the PNACer's wanted to stand on a pile of skulls...  BiggJawn   Aug-07-04 11:17 PM   #70 
  - What about Iraq?  PeaceForever   Aug-07-04 05:28 PM   #48 
  - Which does the US Military defend -- "the government" or the Constitution?  beam_me_up   Aug-07-04 05:42 PM   #54 
  - the military is sworn to two things.  Sirveri   Aug-08-04 02:42 AM   #79 
     - "The people in the military . . .  beam_me_up   Aug-08-04 11:28 AM   #100 
        - They can't disclose anything like that.  Sirveri   Aug-08-04 04:00 PM   #111 
  - You've apparently..  deseo   Aug-07-04 05:54 PM   #55 
  - No kidding  TransitJohn   Aug-08-04 09:32 AM   #95 
  - I think a better question is  FeebMaster   Aug-08-04 12:26 PM   #104 
     - Waste him  TransitJohn   Aug-08-04 03:24 PM   #109 
        - Right. An insurgency area.  FeebMaster   Aug-08-04 03:35 PM   #110 
  - i don't know  jukes   Aug-08-04 09:35 PM   #114 
  - Ahem...  MrBenchley   Aug-07-04 03:29 PM   #2 
  - Did Rush really mention DU by name?  mdmc   Aug-07-04 03:37 PM   #12 
  - Yup, he did....  MrBenchley   Aug-07-04 03:40 PM   #14 
     - there is a local hunter club that works locally to save open lands  mdmc   Aug-07-04 03:54 PM   #25 
  - Yes, we all know that...  LoZoccolo   Aug-08-04 10:19 AM   #99 
     - Jeepers...  MrBenchley   Aug-08-04 01:14 PM   #108 
  - I say those little popguns aren't going to do you a damned bit of good  Warpy   Aug-07-04 03:29 PM   #3 
  - You know the government won't launch planes and missiles against it's  Shoeempress   Aug-07-04 03:34 PM   #9 
  - welcome to DU  mdmc   Aug-07-04 04:20 PM   #41 
  - Tell it to Iraq  MUSTANG_2004   Aug-07-04 03:37 PM   #10 
  - Tell that to the Viet Cong.  gsh999   Aug-07-04 03:59 PM   #28 
     - Do you believe  Dookus   Aug-07-04 04:01 PM   #29 
        - And left with the largest parking lot in the world.  gsh999   Aug-07-04 04:14 PM   #36 
        - and the rebels would want to keep the USA from becoming a  mdmc   Aug-07-04 04:16 PM   #38 
        - I agree  Dookus   Aug-07-04 04:21 PM   #42 
        - Russia extended their nuclear umbrella over them, so no, I don't.  Crachet2004   Aug-07-04 11:17 PM   #69 
  - Seems kinda violent....  SimpleTrend   Aug-07-04 03:39 PM   #13 
  - Worth noting that the Second Amendment  MrBenchley   Aug-07-04 03:42 PM   #17 
     - Quotes from our founding fathers  Elwood P Dowd   Aug-07-04 03:54 PM   #24 
     - Tommy J  mdmc   Aug-07-04 04:06 PM   #31 
     - George Mason...who voted against the Constitution....  MrBenchley   Aug-07-04 04:12 PM   #34 
     - That's a misleading story, MrBenchley  robcon   Aug-07-04 06:41 PM   #56 
        - Mason is the right wing's patron saint  MrBenchley   Aug-08-04 08:50 AM   #92 
     - "When the citizens fear their government, you have tyranny."  Mr_Spock   Aug-08-04 11:53 AM   #103 
     - interesting point  mdmc   Aug-07-04 03:58 PM   #27 
     - Not unless flintlocks make a comeback....  MrBenchley   Aug-07-04 04:12 PM   #35 
        - flintlocks?  mdmc   Aug-07-04 04:18 PM   #39 
     - Thanks for the link.  SimpleTrend   Aug-07-04 04:23 PM   #44 
     - both a free state and a regime bear arms  mdmc   Aug-07-04 04:32 PM   #46 
     - Interesting perspective from the ACLU  PeaceForever   Aug-07-04 05:39 PM   #53 
        - And backed up by every court decision  MrBenchley   Aug-08-04 08:51 AM   #93 
  - The Ultimate Weapon  J Williams   Aug-07-04 03:50 PM   #22 
  - agreed  BlueCollar   Aug-07-04 04:03 PM   #30 
  - great post  mdmc   Aug-07-04 04:08 PM   #33 
  - Here is my take.  Lori Price CLG   Aug-07-04 04:07 PM   #32 
  - yikes! That Southwell article scares me! I like the legitgov site  mdmc   Aug-07-04 04:14 PM   #37 
  - "..a well regulated milita."  bandera   Aug-07-04 04:20 PM   #40 
  - Well, yes. It does.  neverborn   Aug-07-04 04:23 PM   #43 
     - Do you consider some goober with a can of beer and a rifle  bandera   Aug-07-04 07:08 PM   #58 
     - "Capable of acting in concert for the common defense"  Barret   Aug-07-04 10:07 PM   #63 
  - I am a liberal  Moonbeam_Starlight   Aug-07-04 05:36 PM   #52 
  - I think there is a contradiction among some people  robcon   Aug-07-04 06:51 PM   #57 
  - Agree with you mdmc  OnionPatch   Aug-07-04 07:28 PM   #59 
  - cool-io  mdmc   Aug-07-04 07:47 PM   #61 
  - Do you seriously think you could take the US army  Alex146   Aug-07-04 07:31 PM   #60 
  - One does not overthrow weaponry.  ronabop   Aug-08-04 02:47 AM   #80 
  - Nope  Shiru   Aug-07-04 10:09 PM   #64 
  - Sounds like you have a good understanding of the 2nd Amendment  BullGooseLoony   Aug-07-04 10:26 PM   #65 
  - me?  mdmc   Aug-08-04 09:29 PM   #112 
  - US v. Miller provides historical background on the second amendment  hansberrym   Aug-08-04 02:02 AM   #71 
  - I say that there is NO reason  CaTeacher   Aug-08-04 02:18 AM   #72 
  - here is a couple of reasons  mdmc   Aug-08-04 09:32 PM   #113 
  - I respectfully disagree.  ProfLefty   Aug-08-04 02:20 AM   #73 
  - Thank you!  CaTeacher   Aug-08-04 02:24 AM   #74 
     - Yes! Yes! Yes!  ProfLefty   Aug-08-04 02:29 AM   #75 
        - In todays world  Speed8098   Aug-08-04 09:40 AM   #96 
  - See also the Federalist Papers  hansberrym   Aug-08-04 02:30 AM   #76 
  - Things have changed quite a bit since the  CaTeacher   Aug-08-04 02:35 AM   #77 
     - Right you are.  ProfLefty   Aug-08-04 02:41 AM   #78 
     - Have governments been less likely to slaughter people?  hansberrym   Aug-08-04 02:53 AM   #81 
     - I would advise you to look at Kerry's Senate  CaTeacher   Aug-08-04 03:39 AM   #88 
        - There's Nothing Accidental.......  Paladin   Aug-08-04 10:10 AM   #97 
        - You're just upset that the Republicans pass all the  FeebMaster   Aug-08-04 12:28 PM   #105 
        - One might check out the Democratic party platform and its  hansberrym   Aug-09-04 12:51 AM   #118 
     - I agree  Columbia   Aug-08-04 03:00 AM   #83 
     - Do you also have an objection to the 14th Amendment?  hansberrym   Aug-08-04 03:18 AM   #86 
  - When they take away our guns  Sirveri   Aug-08-04 02:58 AM   #82 
  - "When guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns"  hansberrym   Aug-08-04 03:07 AM   #84 
     - I am a social libertarian.  Sirveri   Aug-08-04 03:11 AM   #85 
  - The second amendment ahs never been used to dney gun legislation  Gore1FL   Aug-08-04 03:32 AM   #87 
  - What is going on here?  ProfLefty   Aug-08-04 03:39 AM   #89 
     - This isn't technically a site just for liberals.  Sirveri   Aug-08-04 04:21 AM   #90 
     - I hope so.  ProfLefty   Aug-08-04 04:41 AM   #91 
     - I bet that "Che" guy had a gun.  LoZoccolo   Aug-08-04 10:16 AM   #98 
     - Che  ProfLefty   Aug-08-04 01:05 PM   #107 
     - Killing is not always wrong  Columbia   Aug-08-04 11:36 AM   #102 
     - I wish I would live to see the day  OnionPatch   Aug-08-04 12:31 PM   #106 
        - My thoughts.  ProfLefty   Aug-08-04 11:54 PM   #116 
           - I see what you're saying  OnionPatch   Aug-09-04 12:36 AM   #117 
              - I hear you.  ProfLefty   Aug-09-04 12:58 AM   #119 

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