Posted by ermackey on 2/8/2013 1:23:00 PM (view original):
Posted by dukelegend on 2/8/2013 9:06:00 AM (view original):
The 2nd amendment is not only the right to bear arms to "protect" your castle but it is also intended to protect the citizens from its own government if need be. While it is hard to imagine our government using military force on its own people in the current time the possibility of it happening in the future is much greater when the people have no means of stopping it.
I do not own a single gun at this point in time after a childhood of hunting and being around guns on a regular basis as well as 8 years in the infantry. With that being said I think (the key point here because none of us are changing what we think on this and many other topics) that we need to make it harder to obtain a gun but further limiting types of weapons will do little to stop the "crazies" from commiting acts of violence. Ask T. McVay what he needed to blow up a building and it had nothing to do with guns.
I live in VA and I support our states stance on the new bill, basically no state agencey or locale will enforce any new federally imposed gun limits. The US is THE gun country and I would love to see how a federal ran gun seizure program would work out...I am thinking civil war?
I know this is popular mythology, but it is BS.
To understand our right to bear arms, you have to understand the French and American Revolutions. We had just fought a long war for independence. We did this with an Army of citizen soldiers who used their hunting rifles to defend their country from the English Monarchy. The need for an armed militia was further reinforced by the rise of Conservatism – a philosophy that defended the Monarchy and railed against Democracy. Burke and conservatives of the day saw Monarchies as stable and predictable forces endowed by God to lead man. In contrast, he saw Democracy as a “tyranny of the multitudes” that were a danger to word security and stability. You could liken it to the cold war and the way the US and capitalist powers viewed the US, and yes, it was that serious.
The US Founding Fathers were very aware of the prevailing English sentiment toward Democracy. They also watched France’s Revolution be undercut by English interference. Eventually, this would lead to a collapse of the French Democracy, but the founding fathers only saw the interference and knew that the English would be very willing to do the same to us.
Faced with an English threat and also possible conflicts with Spain and France regarding North American interests, the founding fathers settled on the 2nd Amendment to protect us from “tyranny”, meaning invasion and occupation back into a monarchial empire. Scrapped for cash and with a great ocean buffering us, they created a 2nd Amendment to create an armed citizenry from which the US could recruit or draft a citizen army to protect itself. This came to fruition in the French-Indian Wars and the War of 1812. Our founding fathers were very good soothsayers on foreign policy.
Regarding the 2nd Amendment in today’s context, there are two things to realize in the 2nd Amendment. The 2nd Amendment reads, “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” First, it establishes that the purpose of the amendment is “necessary to the security of a free State”. This clearly provides the intent and I provided the historic context earlier. Second, the amendment provides for a “well-regulated Militia.” The “WELL REGULATED” is an important part of this amendment because it puts the state in charge of the militia. Therefore, there is no intent for the militia to ever overthrow the state, but is to be regulated for the security and preservation of the state. Finally, the most controversial aspect, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” This clearly gives the right of people to keep and bear arms and the purpose was for subsistence and preservation of an armed citizen militia.
This last part of the amendment is critical because it creates a substantial “gray area”. On one hand, the government cannot infringe the right to “Keep and Bear arms”, but is allowed to regulate the militia that is actually the citizens themselves. I think the courts have gotten this right. For example, in District of Columbia v. Heller, the Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm, unconnected to service in a militia. However, the courts have also upheld rulings that say that citizens do not have the right to have weapons of war or material that can be used to make weapons of war (i.e.: nukes, fertilizer bombs, anti-aircraft missiles, etc…). In other words, handguns and hunting rifles are not militia related and cannot be regulated. However, nukes and howitzers are militia-based and are well regulated.
Therein lays the problem with the assault weapon. Is it a militia weapon or a citizen weapon? It lies in a gray area that the courts will have to clarify. Personally, I think that the definition lies within the abilities of the weapon. If it is a fully-automatic weapon, it is clearly a militia weapon and falls under the regulated militia clause. If it is semi auto, it falls under citizen use. However, this is my opinion. The courts have to decide and will have a plethora of arguments from which to create the division.
That brings me to my concluding statement. I am against the regulation of assault weapons and even clip capacity. However, I am not going to lie or spread a piece of right-wing propaganda that the founding fathers wanted us to protect ourselves from the national government. They did not. I will direct you to the Whiskey Rebellion where Washington sent troops to quash a rebellion against the national government as a clear example. Please stop saying that the founders intended for us to have guns for that reason. It only emboldens far-left and far-right radicals that use that ignorant statement to legitimize their violent opposition of national law and policy, makes uneducated people dumber and more misinformed, and makes you look stupid to people that know better. It also hurts the image of responsible and reasonable gun owners by appearing to be unreasonable to moderates we need on our side to win the debate. When you say the founders wanted us to have guns to resist the government, moderates hear: “I have the right to be violent against laws with which I disagree.” You may not intend it, but that is how it is politically seen. You are not helping the team nor the cause. Please stop it.
Very interesting narrative, ermackey--just had the chance to take a look at it, and wanted to thank you for sharing your reasoning here. For me, the most fascinating legal aspect of this issue is comparing the intentions of the founding fathers with the modern circumstances we face today. It is not an easy problem, and despite the attitudes of some, there will not be simple solutions. ...particularly when we add the question of morality---a thing that is legal to do is not necessarily the right thing to do, and what is illegal isn't necessarily wrong, etc., etc. However, I can say that it looks like jibe will have to do without those pocket nukes after all! :)