Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

What does "a well-regulated militia" mean?

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007) Donate to DU
 
deathdog Donating Member (167 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-03-06 01:23 PM
Original message
What does "a well-regulated militia" mean?
I keep asking this, and I NEVER get an answer. Yet, it's right there in the Constitution--in that 2nd Amendment, other parts of which are quoted as if they were sacred writ.

So, I'm asking....what would a well-regulated militia look like? Does it really mean every nutjob who wants to kill kids should have "the right to bear arms"?

Really, I'm asking...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
thirdpower Donating Member (695 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-03-06 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
1. Here's the legal definitions....
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
deathdog Donating Member (167 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-03-06 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. These define "militia", but not much about "well-regulated"
Does that phrase mean nothing? If so, why is it in the Constitution?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MrCoffee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-03-06 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Congress is charged with funding and training the militia...
Edited on Tue Oct-03-06 01:36 PM by MrCoffee
Article I, Section 8, Clause 1: "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States"

Article I, Section 8, Clause 12: "To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years"

Article I, Section 8, Clause 14: "To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces"

Article I, Section 8, Clause 15: "To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions"

Article I, Section 8, Clause 16: "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"

The President has a role too. Article 2, Section 2: "The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States;"
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
deathdog Donating Member (167 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-03-06 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. So that imlies that members of this
well-regulated, Congressionally-funded militia should have guns, but not every crazy who wants to kill kids. Doesn't it?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
thirdpower Donating Member (695 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-03-06 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. So how would you then screen people out?
Mandatory Psych tests? Pre-crime laws?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
deathdog Donating Member (167 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-03-06 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. I'd ask 'em to join
a well-regulated militia!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
thirdpower Donating Member (695 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-03-06 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. They're already in one by law. :)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
deathdog Donating Member (167 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-03-06 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Again...what does "well-regulated" mean?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
fishwax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-03-06 04:41 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. I don't think it implies that at all
it says "right of the people," not "right of the militia members."
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
deathdog Donating Member (167 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-03-06 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. The right to own guns is predicated on the existence of
"a well-regulated militia". The militia comes first, then the right to own guns. Why would the founders have written it this way, if they really meant "Everyone should have guns"?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MrCoffee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-03-06 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. No, the assumption is that everyone is part of the citizen-militia
Edited on Tue Oct-03-06 04:49 PM by MrCoffee
The purpose of the Amendment is to ensure that there would, in fact, be a militia to call upon.

The right to own guns protects the militia by forbidding the government from prescribing gun ownership.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
deathdog Donating Member (167 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-03-06 04:57 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. What is regulation?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MrCoffee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-03-06 04:59 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. what the hell...it means "well-regulated". there's no concordance to the
Constitution. It means whatever the hell "well-regulated" means. Read a damn dictionary.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
fishwax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-03-06 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #9
20. predicated on, but not dependent upon
If the founders wanted the right to bear arms to be restricted to militia members or to depend on militia membership, they could have easily worded that way. They didn't.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
thirdpower Donating Member (695 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-03-06 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Prefatory language... Like "Whereas"...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MrCoffee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-03-06 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
2. Since the advent of the standing regular army, it doesn't really mean much
The "well-regulated milita" language refered to the system of common defense at the time of the drafting. After the US created a standing regular army (which I personally believe is unconstitutional because of language describing the militia in the Constituion, but that's for another day), the well-regulated militia language is pretty well antiquated.

It's used as the argument that the 2nd Amendment doesn't give every citizen the right to keep and bear arms, only those who are members of the state militia.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-03-06 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #2
26. I think it means a lot.
I think it secures the right to bear arms in case the citizenry one day feels like forming a militia, much as happened in colonial America. I don't see any requirement for membership in such a militia, nor that such a militia be under state control.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-03-06 04:47 PM
Response to Original message
11. A militia is a citizen army
The well-regulated part means they drill, train and form teams instead of everyone just running around shooting up everything that moves.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
deathdog Donating Member (167 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-03-06 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #11
17. That's what it sounds like to me
Members of a well-regulated militia wouldn't be wandering into schools, shooting children. I think we have a problem.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
michreject Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-04-06 08:09 AM
Response to Reply #11
36. Where did you get this interpretation?
Or did you just make it up?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-04-06 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #36
46. I got it from my drill sergeant
In basic training we had active-duty troops, Army Reservists and Army National Guardsmen.

Sergeant First Class Cloud heard one of the National Guardsmen refer to his service as the "militia" and very carefully explained to all of us that the "militia" as described in the constitution was a citizen army, and the National Guard as it stands today is a government army owned by the governor of a state, not the president of the United States.

He then went on to explain that the Founding Fathers' greatest intent when they created the Constitution was to stem government tyranny. All of them had suffered under it, so it stands to reason they'd want to prevent it. The militia, being comprised of citizens under arms, was the last line of defense against government oppression.

Which makes sense. If Shrub decided to impose martial law one of his first acts would be to federalize the National Guard. Someone would have to stop him, and unfortunately it would come down to a lot of guys with guns.

Sergeant Cloud had a Master's in history from the University of Maryland, so we tended to believe him on this.

He concluded his little five-minute block of instruction on the Constitution by informing us that if he caught any of us calling the National Guard a militia again, we'd have to do a million push-ups in front of him before we were allowed to graduate. Sergeant Cloud was six-ten and could bench 290. We definitely believed him on that.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
michreject Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-04-06 07:00 PM
Response to Reply #46
47. As a vet
You understand that the Constitution doesn't apply to the military?

He concluded his little five-minute block of instruction on the Constitution by informing us that if he caught any of us calling the National Guard a militia again
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #47
50. Oh, I understand
This doesn't change Sergeant Cloud's description of a militia, or the reasons we might need one.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Subdivisions Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-03-06 04:51 PM
Response to Original message
13. A co-ordinated group citizens that respects a heirarchal
command structure and whose mission is of military character and is either of an offensive or defensive nature.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-03-06 05:03 PM
Response to Original message
19. In the context of the 2nd Amendment well regulated means...
qualified or having adequate skills. It does not mean limited or restricted. A similar contemporary usage would be a SCUBA diver's need for a well regulated air supply. I am getting this from the context used by Hamilton in Federalist #29.

To oblige the great body of the yeomanry, and of the other classes of the citizens, to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well-regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people, and a serious public inconvenience and loss.
http://www.foundingfathers.info/federalistpapers/fed29....


--IMM
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-03-06 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. Well, isn't "having adequate skills" a restriction? -nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-03-06 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. I think it's the opposite.
To use my analogy above, is an adequate air supply the same as a restricted air supply?

--IMM
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Zomby Woof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-03-06 05:15 PM
Response to Original message
22. Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution
To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

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.


-end of excerpt-


So simply put, Congress does the regulating of the militia, reserving certain responsibilities to the states. Amendment 2 is referring to the above clause when citing "a well-regulated militia". Which means Amendment 2 is not necessarily a green light for gun fetishists to arm themselves to the teeth with assault weapons and other toys. I am not saying gun owners have no rights, it's just that Amendment 2, as it pertains to fondling semi-automatic weapons and collecting hundreds of handguns, isn't necessarily the source of that "right". Perhaps Amendment 9 or 10 (as states do set many of their own gun laws) are more accurately the source. The NRA has been so successful in perpetuating the myths about the second amendment (it lines their coffers, and that of the gun industry), that it is fully ingrained in the national discourse to the point that refuting it is heresy, no matter how factual the rebuttals are.

Other points:

"Keep", from the "keep and bear arms" clause of Amendment 2, refers to, in 19th century jargon, to the storage of said arms by the militia in a common depot. Surely, militia members can "keep" them at home, but semantically, that isn't the original intent (and aren't conservatives always fond of that sentiment?)

Personally, I find the "suppress insurrections" clause of Section 8 to be the most compelling. Those perpetuating the myths surrounding Amendment 2 often cite that one of the main purposes of the amendment is to take on the gummint when things get hairy - but if said gummint is supposed to suppress the very insurrections that taking up arms against them would entail, what we have here is a failure to communicate.

Much as I deride gun fetishizing, I know fully well that gun control is unworkable as are all other forms of prohibition in American history - like the well-known ones against alcohol and drugs. Changing the culture is the only way to decrease gun-related violence, not prohibition. I don't see the former happening anytime in the next few eons, but that doesn't make the latter any more desirable or attractive.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
thirdpower Donating Member (695 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-03-06 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. The "storage" arguement was a complete fabrication...
unless you can come up w/ a source other than Bellisiles.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-03-06 11:18 PM
Response to Reply #22
28. Congress does not "regulate" the militia.
Edited on Tue Oct-03-06 11:23 PM by IMModerate
As I referenced above, Hamilton's Fedaralist #29 alludes that this is not possible. The purpose of the militia (citizens) keeping and bearing the arms, is that they should be well-regulated (qualified) in their use.

Also the the government's definition of assault weapon is a fiction. Take any legal semi=auto rifle. Fit it with a skeleton stock, pistol grip, high capacity magazine, and a muzzle flash suppressor, and you've magically transformed it into an assault rifle. In truth, an assault weapon is a weapon that is used to assault someone. :)

--IMM
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
kiahzero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-03-06 05:38 PM
Response to Original message
25. Since there's been all of one Supreme Court decision on the matter
It's hard to say.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
VTMechEngr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-03-06 05:51 PM
Response to Original message
27. This is what it means:
A Well-trained body of the people. Everyone between 18 and some middle age, don't have the exact number, are members of the unorganized militia. Well-regulated in 18th century speak meant well trained. The Idea was that the citizens of the country, each brought up to understand firearms and how to shoot them, could be called upon to defend our nation if we were invaded. Think Minutemen.

It is also a check on the government, since a tyrant would have to deal with an entire country of people armed and against his rule. Does this sometimes lead to tragic ends, Yeah, but thats the price of Freedom.

Can weapons kill more people now, Yeah. But, in the 18th century, anyone attacking the government without force would find themselves quickly out gunned and out-manned. That has not changed. I'd levy a tank, M2, smartbombs, M14, etc any day to your extremist/nutcase taking on the government alone with a semi-auto AK-47.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-03-06 11:21 PM
Response to Original message
29. Personally, I believe it's the National Guard
But then where would that leave the gun groupies.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Elwood P Dowd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-03-06 11:57 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. Tell that to the NG's killed in Iraq
The National Guard is part of the standing Army. They can be ordered into combat against the citizens by the state Governor or by the US President. They can be activated to serve in combat operations overseas with the regular military. When you're on duty with the Guard, your uniform says United States Army (or Air Force).

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-04-06 07:17 AM
Response to Reply #29
31. The Supreme Court has already ruled that the Guard is not the militia...
since the Guard is funded under Congress's authorization to "raise and support Armies." I have the cite around here somewhere.

Federal law already defines the militia as all male citizens between 17 and 45. Modern jurisprudence would extend this to women as well, since that law was written in a mysogynistic era.

But even if the militia WERE the Guard--which it isn't--the right that the Second Amendment recognizes is NOT the right of the militia to keep and bear arms. It's the right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms, which happens to be a necessary precondition of having an armed militia.

If you can't find a right of the people to keep and bear arms in the Second Amendment, don't complain when the right wing can't find a right to privacy in the First and Fourth. Ever read Roe v. Wade? The right to privacy, which is the cornerstone of the Roe decision, is spelled out a LOT less explicitly than the right of the people to keep and bear arms.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-04-06 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #31
44. Got it...that would be _Perpich v. Department of Defense_, 1990...
link: http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=...

U.S. Supreme Court
PERPICH v. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 496 U.S. 334 (1990)
496 U.S. 334

PERPICH, GOVERNOR OF MINNESOTA, ET AL. v. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE ET AL.
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE EIGHTH CIRCUIT

No. 89-542.

Argued March 27, 1990
Decided June 11, 1990

Since 1933, federal law has provided that persons enlisting in a State National Guard unit simultaneously enlist in the National Guard of the United States, a part of the Army. The enlistees retain their status as State Guard members unless and until ordered to active federal duty and revert to state status upon being relieved from federal service. The authority to order the Guard to federal duty was limited to periods of national emergency until 1952, when Congress broadly authorized orders "to active duty or active duty for training" without any emergency requirement, but provided that such orders could not be issued without the consent of the governor of the State concerned. After two State Governors refused to consent to federal training missions abroad for their Guard units, the gubernatorial consent requirement was partially repealed in 1986 by the "Montgomery Amendment," which provides that a governor cannot withhold consent with regard to active duty outside the United States because of any objection to the location, purpose, type, or schedule of such duty. The Governor of Minnesota and the State of Minnesota (hereinafter collectively referred to as the Governor) filed a complaint for injunctive relief, alleging, inter alia, that the Montgomery Amendment had prevented him from withholding his consent to a 1987 federal training mission in Central America for certain members of the State Guard, and that the Amendment violates the Militia Clauses of Article I, 8, of the Constitution, which authorize Congress to provide for (1) calling forth the militia to execute federal law, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions, and (2) organizing, arming, disciplining, and governing such part of the militia as may be employed in the federal service, reserving to the States the appointment of officers and the power to train the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress. The District Court rejected the Governor's challenge, holding that the Federal Guard was created pursuant to Congress' Article I, 8, power to raise and support armies; that the fact that Guard units also have an identity as part of the state militia does not limit Congress' plenary authority to train the units as it sees fit when the Guard is called to active federal service; and that, accordingly, the Constitution neither required the gubernatorial veto nor prohibited its withdrawal. The Court of Appeals affirmed. <496 U.S. 334, 335>

(Emphasis added.)

Note that the Court ruling stated that the National Guard is explicitly part of the Federal army, not the militia, and that State guards only constitute PART of the militia.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-04-06 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #31
45. 369th birthday - Dec 13 2005
I don't know, you can do the math.
http://www.ngb.army.mil/About/default.aspx

The funding has changed which means the definition of the Guard has changed. Butit's pretty clear they were the original militia, at least they think they were.

In any event, I never said there's no right to bear arms in the 2nd Amendment. Just that any unrestricted right would rest with a well regulated militia (the Guard), and any personal right could be regulated just as there are regulations regarding speech, the press, judicial procedures, etc.

As to abortion, that is a health care right and about as basic a right as walking down the street, which isn't defined in the Bill of Rights either. I think some of the "rights" we argue about now were just so "duh" at the time, that the founding fathers didn't think they needed to write them down.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #45
48. See post #44 (n/t).
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
michreject Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-04-06 08:17 AM
Response to Reply #29
37. National Guard didn't exist until 1916......eom
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-04-06 07:37 AM
Response to Original message
32. Let Me Tell You About The 2nd Amendment - The Truth For A Change
Edited on Wed Oct-04-06 07:38 AM by ThomWV
The gun-nuts will tell you it is the god-given right of every man, woman, and child to keep and bear arms. The anti-gun-nuts will tell you that that Constitution guarantees the right of every state to build up a local military body (militia) to do its military duties. Both are part right and both are part wrong, and neither captures the intent of the framers of the Constitution.

The answer as to what it means and that rights were intended for us is not at all hard to find. There is a lot more information available as to what was going on in our new country in the late 1700's and early 1800's as to political mood and explanation about our most important document, the Constitution. Close reading, or even light reading give you the answer.

Start here: http://www.law.ucla.edu/volokh/2amteach/sources.htm

Here is what you will find if you choose to look:

You have an absolute right to arm yourself - to keep and bear arms. It is an individual right, basis among the three things that the founding Fathers found to be the inalienable rights of every man; first to personal security, the second to personal liberties, the third to hold private property. Your second amendment right to bear arms gives you the ability to maintain your own security.

Secure from what? That is where the reading takes you. Secure from militias, that's what. A militia is simply an armed group. It may be operated by the state, it may be a bunch of criminals, its might be a private army. The founding fathers realized that some militias were necessary - they wouldn't have had a problem with the states having their National Guard. What they did fear was a standing army - and for good reason. What they believed was that if the populace was well armed it would be able to control (regulate) whatever militias might arise over time.

So in short the notion was that if the people were allowed to be armed they would rise up against any oppressive militia, and that once again being any armed body that had become 'unregulated'. Your right to have and carry guns is there to allow you to protect yourself from your government or any other armed body that might wish to take your rights.



Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Senator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-04-06 07:42 AM
Response to Original message
33. There's no "right" there -- the word "arms" had no non-military meaning
It was inclusive of all the equipment of warring (cots, carts, uniforms, etc... anything you might find in an armory).

As such, it did/does not relate in any way to anyone's personal possesions.

You did/do not "bear arms" against a deer or intruder.

The entire 2nd Amendment "debate" was unheard of prior to the 1970s.

It's nearly laughable to claim that anyone would include in a document founding a national government a right or means to violently oppose it.

Just one more Fractured Fascist Fairy Tale that literally allows some people to sleep through the night.

Is there a natural or inalienable right to own a firearm for personal protection? Perhaps, but it not to be found in the 2nd Amendment to our (now in breach) Constitution.

--
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
moondust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-04-06 07:58 AM
Response to Reply #33
34. Plus
I'm sure the founding fathers weren't anywhere near stupid enough to grant unlimited ownership of muskets, artillery pieces, and any other weapons of the day or the future to every drunken sailor that stumbles out of the tavern on Saturday night, which is what the "personal possession" interpretation implies.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Finder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-04-06 08:24 AM
Response to Reply #34
38. Times were different then and citizens needed...
Edited on Wed Oct-04-06 08:33 AM by Finder
to protect themselves from raids by Indians, and others in many rural areas. Hunting was also a big part of providing food for one's family. It is a right of individuals.

Militias were regulated(trained, armed, hierarchy established by the states but Congress could call them to national service in some instances.(rebellion,invasion) See the mention of no standing armies in peace time as far as federal.

The civil war presented the need for a federal force not dependent on the individual state militias.

on edit: The continental army(as it was called prior to being the US Army)was a much debated concept prior to the civil war. Militias would fight along the side of the US army when called.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
moondust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-04-06 08:58 AM
Response to Reply #38
41. I think it's obvious
that since the 2nd Amendment does not mention any limits on the number or types of "arms" that may be kept and borne then it does not pertain to Joe Blow passed out in the street in Philadelphia. The "collective defense" is all that makes sense.

I think the "personal uses" you refer to were more or less assumed to be a part of life on the frontier and not addressed at the convention establishing a government, granting and limiting its powers.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-05-06 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #41
49. Does the First Amendment mention limits on the types of "speech"
Edited on Thu Oct-05-06 10:27 AM by benEzra
that cannot be infringed? No? Well, it must not apply to Joe Blow in Philadelphia, either... :eyes:


FWIW, the fact that the amendment references arms that can be kept and borne IS a limitation that seems to exclude crew-served weapons. Arms that can be kept and borne are small arms, not cannons/artillery or other heavy weapons. The reference to arms as opposed to ordnance is also a limitation.

It is quite clear that the amendment refers to personal weapons--rifles, pistols, shotguns, and edged weapons that can be carried on the person--not military heavy weapons. In practice, it is generally understood by all as referring to non-automatic, non-sound-suppressed firearms under .51 caliber that satisfy the Title I criteria of the National Firearms Act, a line of demarcation that was drawn 72 years ago.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Finder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-04-06 08:26 AM
Response to Reply #33
39. Our founders did indeed write provisions for a people to...
protect themselves against tyrannical government. Their intentions were clear.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Spider Jerusalem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-04-06 08:02 AM
Response to Original message
35. I already answered you;
here's a link since you evidently missed it.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
izzybeans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-04-06 08:51 AM
Response to Original message
40. From the definitions pointed to above it seems that a well regulated
Edited on Wed Oct-04-06 08:52 AM by izzybeans
militia is one that includes the right to bear arms and the right of the people to control this militia. The term militia references a collective no matter what Al Gonzelez says in his memorandum on the subject. Regulations come from the state; and because of interstate commerce and trade there is a necessity for federal restrictions....if it were to be well regulated.

A poorly regulated militia gives you Timothy McVeigh and assault weapons on the streets. A well regulated one ensures the right to bear arms AND private safety from armed bandits, drunken dickheads, and right wing terrorists. This is why regulating the sale of guns is constitutional and deciding what is a legitimate weapon for a private militia (individual or organized group) must be made via democratic decision legislated through both the state and federal systems. Anyone that says that regulating machine guns or any gun sale for that matter is a violation of the 2nd amendment probably has not read the second amendment.

You don't get an answer on the "regulation" question because they don't want to deal with the unfortunate reality that "freedom isn't free" (that means pay your damn taxes and recognize reasonable hazards).
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-04-06 09:10 AM
Response to Original message
42. From the Oxford English Dictionary (dictionary of etymological history)...
Edited on Wed Oct-04-06 09:13 AM by benEzra
(crossposted, since I don't have a copy at the moment):

1709: "If a liberal Education has formed in us well-regulated Appetites and worthy Inclinations."

1714: "The practice of all well-regulated courts of justice in the world."

1812: "The equation of time ... is the adjustment of the difference of time as shown by a well-regulated clock and a true sun dial."

1848: "A remissness for which I am sure every well-regulated person will blame the Mayor."

1862: "It appeared to her well-regulated mind, like a clandestine proceeding."

1894: "The newspaper, a never wanting adjunct to every well-regulated American embryo city."

The phrase "well-regulated" was in common use long before 1789, and remained so for a century thereafter. It referred to the property of something being in proper working order. Something that was well-regulated was calibrated correctly, functioning as expected. Establishing government oversight of the people's arms was not only not the intent in using the phrase in the 2nd amendment, it was precisely to render the government powerless to do so that the founders wrote it.


From another discussion, also citing the Oxford English Dictionary (2nd ed., 1989):

"Regulated" has an Obsolete definition (b) "Of troops: Properly disciplined" and then "discipline" has a definition (3b) applying to the military, "Training in the practice of arms and military evolutions; drill. Formerly, more widely: Training or skill in military affairs generally; military skill and experience; the art of war."


In-depth discussion here: http://www.guncite.com/gc2ndmea.html

So, I'm asking....what would a well-regulated militia look like?

According to the U.S. Supreme Court in U.S. vs. Miller, it would be a body of ordinary citizens, called to service, "bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time." Look it up.

But do note that the right to keep and bear arms is NOT recognized as belonging to the militia; the right belongs to the PEOPLE, of which the militia are merely a subset.

Does it really mean every nutjob who wants to kill kids should have "the right to bear arms"?

Do you think every nutjob who wants to blow up buildings has a Fourth Amendment right to be free from warrantless searches and seizures, and a Fifth Amendment right not to be arrested on mere suspicion?

The answer is both no and yes, in both cases.

Someone who wishes to kill kids has no right to kill kids, and has no right to keep and bear arms in pursuit of that goal. But people who are NOT trying to kill kids--e.g., 99.9999% of gun owners--DO have a right to keep and bear arms, and what this or that nutjob may do may not be used as an excuse to take away the civil liberties of the law-abiding. Just as what this or that "terrah-ist" may do should not be used as an excuse to infringe the Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights of the public at large, as this administration is trying to do.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-04-06 09:12 AM
Response to Original message
43. it means a disaffected wack job
with an irrational hatred of young girls.

And no such well-regulated militia shall have his right to own firearms infringed.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Fri Oct 31st 2014, 03:16 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC