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(18,475 posts)
Wed Aug 1, 2012, 02:37 PM Aug 2012

Just the basics

Last edited Wed Aug 1, 2012, 06:12 PM - Edit history (1)

Arms: could mean anything from pocket knives to nukes. The current status is that we've accepted the compromise for personal arms that they be of size, configuration and function such that they can be operated by one person, carried by one person and efficaciously be used in the defense of one or more people.

Rights: are attributes of humanity. An individual has two eyes and one nose those are also attributes common among humans. An individual also has a right to life. The right to life implies a right to self defense. Rights are not sourced from government or other collectives. Rights are not subject to legislative approval, votes from the citizenry, or the approval of my neighbors. Each and every individual has the RIGHT to due process before any of his rights are compromised. That includes terror suspects, illegal aliens, Gitmo detainees and "gun-nut" neighbors of which you may be afraid.

--Rights, The Bill of Rights: protects and enumerates certain rights of the people and powers of the states from government interference. The Constitution defines the federal government; the Bill of Rights outlines some of the government's borders.

--Rights, SCOTUS: has decided in McDonald v. Chicago that the application of protection of the RKBA as an individual right, as decided in DC v. Heller, is extended to state and local governments. It should be noted that among the many amici curiae briefs filed with the court is one from Congress asking the court to find in favor of the petitioners and against Chicago. That brief filed by 2 Senators and 2 US Representatives, 1 of each Republican and Democrat, was signed by 58% of the Congress, overall, more than any other in history.

Laws: are meant to govern the people and control the government. Our government and laws do not nor should they be intended as controls for individuals. Court records and common sense show that neither a law, a gun to the head nor knife to the throat will for sure determine an individual's behavior. Society uses the rule of law to justify the court's due process. Individual behavior (and any crimes arising therefrom) is principally due to individual decision. Believing otherwise rather leads one to question the validity of a sentence determined by the court.

Militias: as detailed in the Constitution are NOT the National Guard.

With the above in mind, any informed reading of the Constitution will, among other facts, lead to the conclusion that it's purpose is to form and constrain the authority of the federal government and define its relationship with the several states. The goals of the federal and state governments are mostly enumerated in the Constitution's Preamble.

Looking at a law as a means of control is counter to the ideals of liberty and justice. When an individual decides to and carries out the killing of another innocent individual. He is detained, charged, tried and sentenced for the offense. If he is coerced by the threat of death or serious injury in the killing, that fact may be offered in his defense. If he has killed in self-defense, he is not guilty of murder. If he has killed by mistake, through no negligence, he is not guilty of murder. To believe that somehow the law would CONTROL the people, would form the basis for an argument that, in the case of a crime, somehow the law was deficient. How could an individual be sentenced for the crime if the law is faulty and partly to blame?

Any thoughts?

12 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Just the basics (Original Post) discntnt_irny_srcsm Aug 2012 OP
I agree with this guy, who I think partly agrees with you: phantom power Aug 2012 #1
While there is no... discntnt_irny_srcsm Aug 2012 #2
I believe that this is what happened in the oneshooter Aug 2012 #5
Absolutely n/t discntnt_irny_srcsm Aug 2012 #9
I think I will K&R Tuesday Afternoon Aug 2012 #3
Everyone discntnt_irny_srcsm Aug 2012 #4
So those over 45 and females can't have guns? Hoyt Aug 2012 #6
No... discntnt_irny_srcsm Aug 2012 #7
No one said the statute wasn't ageist and sexist, but AtheistCrusader Aug 2012 #10
The right to keep and bear arms is not limited to the militia, the enumerated right TheKentuckian Aug 2012 #11
Fine, we don't need a militia nowadays. So leave you guns at home. Hoyt Aug 2012 #12
This message was self-deleted by its author Tuesday Afternoon Aug 2012 #8

phantom power

(25,966 posts)
1. I agree with this guy, who I think partly agrees with you:
Wed Aug 1, 2012, 03:01 PM
Aug 2012

The "original intent" appears to be to short circuit the need for large standing armies (and thus also limiting federal power). However, events over the last 200 years have overtaken this original intent in at least two ways: (1) we do, in fact, have an enormous standing army, and (2) weapons technology has evolved, literally, several orders of magnitude past what was available to humans in the 18th century.

The author below concludes that all this means we ought to re-think what the point of it all really is, since armies, govt and weapons are now utterly different, and going back to how it was in the late 1700s isn't going to happen.

I agree we'd all benefit from some kind of national "first principles" re-think of the whole thing, but I also want a pony. I don't perceive much political or public will to change any policies relating to guns, public safety, or mental health, and therefore I expect the U.S. to continue having the highest rate of gun related deaths in the developed world.

In any case, the 2nd Amendment had nothing to do with hunting or personal protection against common criminals. The right to bear arms was seen as a way to check the power of the federal government and to provide an alternative to standing armies. Since bearing arms in today's America cannot substitute for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines, nor can it realistically prevent the federal government from doing almost anything it wants to do, the entire legitimate rationale for the 2nd Amendment has been obliterated.

It makes little sense to argue that we have the right to hunt and protect our property, and only need arms suitable for those tasks. Nor does it make sense to argue that we must be as well-armed as the Air Force so that we may keep tyranny at bay.

We seek a cut-off point between the musket and an ICBM where we might uphold the right to bear arms, honor the spirit of the 2nd Amendment, and not act like insane people. But we can find no solution that can satisfy all three of those requirements.

The right to bear arms is indisputable. We just don't know what "arms" are, or why we should have the right to bear them.


What I know for sure is that we ought to have legislatures figure out why we have a right to bear arms, what "arms" are, and then decide how we can best protect the public safety. Talking about guns in the context of the 2nd Amendment is a disaster.



(18,475 posts)
2. While there is no...
Wed Aug 1, 2012, 03:47 PM
Aug 2012

Last edited Wed Aug 1, 2012, 06:07 PM - Edit history (1)

...written prohibition in the Constitution against a standing army. At the conclusion of the war, Washington disbanded the Continental Army. The preservation of the RKBA of the individual is a means to ensure that a militia and, if and when necessary, an army may be raised and called upon for the purposes outlined in the Constitution.

History has shown that it is when the military, in whatever form, takes on a character and make up different from the common people that freedom is lost. It is the RKBA that enable each individual to practice and it is that practice which benefits usefully participation in a militia. Historically, standing armies have been armed while the common man was unarmed.

We, as a country, have agreed that the "cut-off" is for personal arms. That is weapons operated and carried by one person which may be useful against an aggressor. The spirit of the 2A is simple; government isn't allowed to mess with the individual RKBA up to the point I've noted above. I don't feel that either of the two concepts I've just written require insanity or anything like it for folks to agree with and participate in those principles.

Arms are defined by numerous public laws.

We can best protect the public safety by 'promoting the general Welfare' in the form of universal healthcare so that those who need support and care for mental illness can be more certain of getting it and by mostly eliminating the war on drugs which would mostly eliminate the casualties on both sides. That would be a helluva start.

ETA: I haven't see you here but hope you'll return. Thanks for the reply.


(8,614 posts)
5. I believe that this is what happened in the
Wed Aug 1, 2012, 07:17 PM
Aug 2012

War of 1812.
"and when necessary, an army may be raised and called upon for the purposes outlined in the Constitution."

Tuesday Afternoon

(56,912 posts)
3. I think I will K&R
Wed Aug 1, 2012, 04:54 PM
Aug 2012

one comment and question:

You have explained what the Militia is NOT.

Would you expand on what IS the Militia.



(18,475 posts)
4. Everyone
Wed Aug 1, 2012, 05:05 PM
Aug 2012

As supported by Madison in Federalist #46, where he numbers a militia raised against a federal army at "near half a million of citizens". Assuming a population of bit more than 2.5 million and eliminating those under 17, over 45 and female, that damn near everyone.

Not withstanding the case discrimination as defined and preferred by certain former DU members from the North, I call this the militia.


(18,475 posts)
7. No...
Wed Aug 1, 2012, 08:07 PM
Aug 2012

...and women can't vote and we still have slaves. I recounted what Madison said and what was a requirement for the early militia. I never said neither men over 45 nor women of any age "can't have guns". I didn't imply that either.


(25,009 posts)
11. The right to keep and bear arms is not limited to the militia, the enumerated right
Thu Aug 2, 2012, 08:09 PM
Aug 2012

like the remainder of the bill of rights is to the people.

The militia is nothing more than context for the reasoning behind enumerating the individual liberty but cannot logically be interpreted as a limitation on anyone but the Federal government and that is a limit on Federal authority in this area aka shall not infringe.

We have a limited government (or are supposed to) which means all government power and authority is held in stewardship for the people, by the leave of the people. The people are the ultimate source of power in our system, the government grants us nothing but rather the reverse.

Response to discntnt_irny_srcsm (Reply #4)

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