What Is Your Opinion Of Gunowners?
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13-06-2017, 08:08 AM
RE: What Is Your Opinion Of Gunowners?
(13-06-2017 07:51 AM)Heath_Tierney Wrote:  
(13-06-2017 07:39 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  It can be argued that a militia is, by definition, an ad hoc fighting force drawn from the general population, and that this can only work if the general population is armed (as most were back when this clause was written). It can also be argued that, with the powerful standing army now in existence, a militia is superfluous.

The Militia Act of 1792 makes the definition of militia abundantly clear, and also makes it clear that it's specifically created for insurrection or the threat of foreign invasion. Source: http://www.constitution.org/mil/mil_act_1792.htm

It could also be argued that there is always the threat of foreign invasion (although a militia wouldn't be much help against incoming nukes from North Korea).

Also note that Jefferson thought that periodic "insurrection" might be necessary to keep the government from getting too big for its britches. Again, this is a laughable notion today, with the disparity between civilian and military weaponry.

In my opinion, the original intent of the second amendment makes no sense in the modern world. But I'm not a Supreme Court justice or even a constitutional lawyer. I'm just some guy on the internet with an opinion (like all of us).

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13-06-2017, 08:12 AM
RE: What Is Your Opinion Of Gunowners?
(13-06-2017 07:47 AM)Heath_Tierney Wrote:  
(13-06-2017 07:37 AM)Gawdzilla Wrote:  Another "Fuck dead kids".

(13-06-2017 07:38 AM)Brian37 Wrote:  Bullshit "appeal to emotion" counter argument, I am quite sure the parents of the Newtown victims would disagree that. Thank you for devaluing their lives and shitting on the pain the parents still suffer from.

Nobody - least of all me - is discounting the deaths of children.

I'm just saying that, as an argument, it's simply not effective. It just serves to raise the temperature but does nothing to actually develop a cogent argument.

I was aiming that at the far right, I am sorry I didn't clarify that.

If you are for regulations and bans on certain types, then I think the days of coddling their insecurities ended long ago.

We do throw facts at them, and just like Trump supporters, those facts get ignored.

FACT, regardless of legality of the user, MOST injuries and deaths are with someone the user is familiar with. The crap about successfully defending yourself from a complete stranger, is not the norm, but the rare exception.

FACT, the NRA does not represent the majority of firearm owners.

FACT, there is a huge difference between short term safety classes, target shooting, and long term muscle training in shooting in stressful situation. Most owners do not have that training.

FACT 36,000 users per year DIE from use of a firearm.

FACT the Newton massacre was not faked and REAL children died.

Colorado, Charleston, Pulse, Columbine, Lubies Cafeteria. ECT ECT ECT ECT.....

FACT, my 1984 JR Year HS Yearbook has an overhead shot of the McDonald's murders and a story about it. I find it pathetic and sad that any yearbook would contain a story about mass murder.

I'm sorry, but no, when you cant even meet them half way, and it is all or nothing and do nothing, that does not garner any value. You keep telling the far right nobody is out to get them and they still wont accept that.

The far right wants the rights but don't seem to understand the totality of history and the RESPONSIBILITY to the collective society. It isn't as simple as "I wouldn't do that".

It is simply buying into paranoia and they simply willingly ignore that or flat out don't care.

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13-06-2017, 08:59 AM
RE: What Is Your Opinion Of Gunowners?
Given the vast quantity of firearms both legal and illegal in the USA I'd like to ask both sides how feasible is it to introduce greater restrictions on firearms who would be responsible for enforcement (being as how the police are likely to be way too overstretched to be responsible) who's going to pay for it and how likely are they to be effective ? Without a workable solution isn't this just a paper tiger or an academic exercise.
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13-06-2017, 12:31 PM (This post was last modified: 13-06-2017 12:54 PM by TheBear.)
RE: What Is Your Opinion Of Gunowners?
(13-06-2017 05:50 AM)Heath_Tierney Wrote:  Only applies if you're in the militia, hence the phrase, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State..." and applies specifically in times of insurrection or possible invasion.

Funny how so many, many people "conveniently" forget that part of the amendment.

"... the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Having a well regulated militia makes perfect sense to me. What strikes me as odd is the notion that the second part of the amendment would also apply to the militia. That makes no sense at all. Can you explain why a militia needs a constitutional right to keep and bear arms? Thanks.
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13-06-2017, 01:27 PM
RE: What Is Your Opinion Of Gunowners?
(13-06-2017 12:31 PM)TheBear Wrote:  
(13-06-2017 05:50 AM)Heath_Tierney Wrote:  Only applies if you're in the militia, hence the phrase, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State..." and applies specifically in times of insurrection or possible invasion.

Funny how so many, many people "conveniently" forget that part of the amendment.

"... the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Having a well regulated militia makes perfect sense to me. What strikes me as odd is the notion that the second part of the amendment would also apply to the militia. That makes no sense at all. Can you explain why a militia needs a constitutional right to keep and bear arms? Thanks.

IMHO, the first part of the amendment is intended to qualify the second. The need for a well-regulated militia is the reason why the right to bear arms shall not be infringed.

Keep in mind that a militia is not a permanent standing army. It's an emergency ad hoc fighting force made up of members of the general populace. It's hard to form a militia from the general populace unless the general populace is armed. That's the only interpretation that makes sense to me. If the right to bear arms is completely independent of the militia, why is the militia even mentioned?

Of course, this interpretation raises the uncomfortable question of what happens when or if there is no longer a need for a militia, and for that reason, it tends to be unpopular among gun owners and the NRA.

But again, if the intent was just to state that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed, with no qualifications (the way gun owners and the NRA would prefer to interpret it), why is the militia clause there at all?
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13-06-2017, 01:56 PM
RE: What Is Your Opinion Of Gunowners?
Are "the people" the "militia"?
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13-06-2017, 02:17 PM
RE: What Is Your Opinion Of Gunowners?
(13-06-2017 01:56 PM)TheBear Wrote:  Are "the people" the "militia"?

Not identically, but the militia is formed from the people. The two groups are certainly related, and so are the two clauses of the amendment. If not, why are they both there? Why didn't they just say "The right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed" (without any qualifiers)?

Disclaimer: as I said in an earlier post, I am only expressing my opinions. I am aware that the "militia" clause has been a bone of contention for hundreds of years, and I certainly don't expect to solve it today over the internet.

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13-06-2017, 02:20 PM
What Is Your Opinion Of Gunowners?
If there is still any confusion about the 2A being an individual right, I submit the following.

Quote:Progressives like to insist that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects a collective, rather than an individual, right to “keep and bear arms.” Or, put another way, they say that the only right Americans have to the ownership of lethal weaponry exists within the context of state-sanctioned military service. As a result, progressives conclude that there is nothing in place to stop the federal government from prohibiting the private ownership of firearms and allowing access to weapons only to those who belong to the National Guard — the modern descendant of early-American state and local militia forces.

In 2008, the Supreme Court decided the landmark case of District of Columbia v. Heller, ruling — by a bare 5–4 majority — that this relatively recent view is incorrect. The Second Amendment, the majority concluded, protects the rights of the individual.

Justice Scalia, the author of the Heller opinion, died in February of this year, and the Court is likely to remain deadlocked on the Second Amendment until he is replaced. This explainer outlines the textual, historical, and philosophical reasons why the next Supreme Court must uphold Heller and continue to recognize the individual right to keep and bear arms.

The text of the Second Amendment supports the existence of an individual right.


Proper constitutional analysis always begins with the actual words of the document. The Second Amendment states: “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.”

As Justice Scalia noted in his Heller decision, the amendment contains both a prefatory clause and an operative clause. The prefatory clause, a common feature at the time of drafting, does not limit the operative clause; rather, it explains its purpose.

The operative clause is, of course, clear: “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” As Scalia correctly observed, every other time the original, un-amended Constitution or the Bill of Rights uses the phrase “right of the people,” the text “unambiguously refer[s] to individual rights.” Further, the language clearly indicates that the amendment wasn’t creating a new right but recognizing a pre-existing individual liberty — one that is referenced in the 1689 English Bill of Rights. The language “shall not be infringed” indicates recognition, not creation.

But what about the prefatory clause? What does the a “well regulated militia” have to do with an individual right? Scalia explained well in Heller:

The Second Amendment’s prefatory clause announces the purpose for which the right was codified: to prevent elimination of the militia. The prefatory clause does not suggest that preserving the militia was the only reason Americans valued the ancient right; most undoubtedly thought it even more important for self-defense and hunting. But the threat that the new Federal Government would destroy the citizens’ militia by taking away their arms was the reason that right — unlike some other English rights — was codified in a written Constitution.

To believe that the Second Amendment is a collective right, Scalia concluded, is to believe that the authors of the Bill of Rights employed individualist language in order to protect the people’s right to take part in militia organizations over which the national government enjoys plenary power.

Naturally, neither the Constitution nor the Bill of Rights spells out every individual liberty. (Indeed, the Ninth Amendment declares this quite clearly, saying, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”) But, in the face of pressure from those who were skeptical of the new government, a few core rights were given special protections to which the people might appeal if the government attempted to take them away. As explained below, the colonists remembered the English king’s tyrannical efforts to suppress liberty in part through the confiscation of arms. The Second Amendment was the response.

The historical record unequivocally supports the existence of an individual right.

It is critical to remember that the Founding Fathers were Englishmen before they were Americans. When they began to sow the seeds of revolt against the British crown, they sought not to destroy all that had gone before but to protect rights that they believed they already possessed. Thus, when George III responded to unrest by attempting to disarm rebellious colonists, he “provoked polemical reactions by Americans invoking their rights as Englishmen to keep arms,” Scalia wrote. (“Arms,” incidentally, did not mean only “muskets” but included any personal weapon that could be wielded by an individual, including but not limited to “musket and bayonet,” “side arms,” and “sabre, holster pistols, and carbine.”)

Justice Scalia understood this well:

By the time of the founding, the right to have arms had become fundamental for English subjects. Blackstone, whose works, we have said, “constituted the preeminent authority on English law for the founding generation,” cited the arms provision of the Bill of Rights as one of the fundamental rights of Englishmen. His description of it cannot possibly be thought to tie it to militia or military service. It was, he said, “the natural right of resistance and self-preservation,” and “the right of having and using arms for self-preservation and defence.” Other contemporary authorities concurred. Thus, the right secured in 1689 as a result of the Stuarts’ abuses was by the time of the founding understood to be an individual right protecting against both public and private violence. (Citations omitted.)

Writing in 1803, after the ratification of the Bill of Rights, St. George Tucker updated Blackstone’s Commentaries. In America, Tucker wrote, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed . . . and this without any qualification as to their condition or degree, as is the case in the British government.” The United States, he boasted, “may reasonably hope that the people will never cease to regard the right of keeping and bearing arms as the surest pledge of their liberty.”

Similar explanations were forthcoming from all of the major jurists of the era, including William Rawle and Joseph Story. There are no published arguments to the contrary.

The assertion that there was no right to own a weapon would have utterly mystified the American colonist.
Not all colonists owned guns. But it is well established that guns were widely owned and widely used in colonial America. Frankly, the assertion that there was no right to own a weapon would have utterly mystified the American colonist, who would have rightly seen such a notion as dangerous to his independence and to his life. As free men have argued since the days of Justinian, every individual enjoys an inalienable right to self-defense. To strip him of access to arms is, effectively, to strip him of the capacity to exercise that right. For an example of this, one needs only look at the Reconstruction-era South, in which whites were helped along in their domination of freed blacks by laws that deprived former slaves of their guns.

And that brings us to the final, critical point.

Natural law supports the existence of an individual right.

One cannot analyze the Second Amendment without understanding its moral and philosophical underpinnings. Colonial America was a land populated by people who were both highly literate biblically and steeped in Lockean philosophy.

The biblical record sanctioning self-defense is clear. In Exodus 22, the Law of Moses permits a homeowner to kill even a mere thief who entered his home at night, and the books of Esther and Nehemiah celebrate the self-defense of the Jews against their lawless attackers. Nehemiah exhorted the Israelites to defend themselves: “Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.” The oft-forgotten climax of the book of Esther is an act of bloody self-defense against a genocidal foe.

Nor did Jesus require his followers to surrender their lives — or the lives of spouses, children, or neighbors — in the face of armed attack. His disciples carried swords, and in one memorable passage in Luke 22, he declared there were circumstances in which the unarmed should arm themselves: “If you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.” Christ’s famous admonition in his Sermon the Mount to “turn the other cheek” in the face of a physical blow is not a command to surrender to deadly violence, and it certainly isn’t a command to surrender family members or neighbors to deadly violence.

In his Second Treatise of Civil Government, Locke described the right of self-defense as a “fundamental law of nature”:

Sec. 16. The state of war is a state of enmity and destruction: and therefore declaring by word or action, not a passionate and hasty, but a sedate settled design upon another man’s life, puts him in a state of war with him against whom he has declared such an intention, and so has exposed his life to the other’s power to be taken away by him, or any one that joins with him in his defence, and espouses his quarrel; it being reasonable and just, I should have a right to destroy that which threatens me with destruction: for, by the fundamental law of nature, man being to be preserved as much as possible, when all cannot be preserved, the safety of the innocent is to be preferred: and one may destroy a man who makes war upon him, or has discovered an enmity to his being, for the same reason that he may kill a wolf or a lion; because such men are not under the ties of the commonlaw of reason, have no other rule, but that of force and violence, and so may be treated as beasts of prey, those dangerous and noxious creatures, that will be sure to destroy him whenever he falls into their power. (Emphasis added.)

Moreover, Locke argues, these laws of nature were inseparable from the will of God:

The rules that they make for other men’s actions, must, as well as their own and other men’s actions, be conformable to the law of nature, i.e. to the will of God, of which that is a declaration, and the fundamental law of nature being the preservation of mankind, no human sanction can be good, or valid against it.

This right is so fundamental that it’s difficult to find even leftist writers who would deny a citizen the right to protect her own life. Yet at the same time, many would deny Americans the right of effective self-defense by leaving their ability to own and carry a weapon to the good graces of the government. Alas, fists are notoriously ineffective against armed criminals, and they are wholly useless against a tyrannical state.

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13-06-2017, 02:31 PM
RE: What Is Your Opinion Of Gunowners?
(13-06-2017 02:17 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  If not, why are they both there? Why didn't they just say "The right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed" (without any qualifiers)?

It would be bizarre, (to me), if the second clause said - "the right of the militia to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."
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13-06-2017, 02:33 PM
RE: What Is Your Opinion Of Gunowners?
(13-06-2017 02:20 PM)KUSA Wrote:  If there is still any confusion about the 2A being an individual right, I submit the following.

Quote:Progressives like to insist that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects a collective, rather than an individual, right to “keep and bear arms.” Or, put another way, they say that the only right Americans have to the ownership of lethal weaponry exists within the context of state-sanctioned military service. As a result, progressives conclude that there is nothing in place to stop the federal government from prohibiting the private ownership of firearms and allowing access to weapons only to those who belong to the National Guard — the modern descendant of early-American state and local militia forces.

In 2008, the Supreme Court decided the landmark case of District of Columbia v. Heller, ruling — by a bare 5–4 majority — that this relatively recent view is incorrect. The Second Amendment, the majority concluded, protects the rights of the individual.

Justice Scalia, the author of the Heller opinion, died in February of this year, and the Court is likely to remain deadlocked on the Second Amendment until he is replaced. This explainer outlines the textual, historical, and philosophical reasons why the next Supreme Court must uphold Heller and continue to recognize the individual right to keep and bear arms.

The text of the Second Amendment supports the existence of an individual right.


Proper constitutional analysis always begins with the actual words of the document. The Second Amendment states: “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.”

As Justice Scalia noted in his Heller decision, the amendment contains both a prefatory clause and an operative clause. The prefatory clause, a common feature at the time of drafting, does not limit the operative clause; rather, it explains its purpose.

The operative clause is, of course, clear: “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” As Scalia correctly observed, every other time the original, un-amended Constitution or the Bill of Rights uses the phrase “right of the people,” the text “unambiguously refer[s] to individual rights.” Further, the language clearly indicates that the amendment wasn’t creating a new right but recognizing a pre-existing individual liberty — one that is referenced in the 1689 English Bill of Rights. The language “shall not be infringed” indicates recognition, not creation.

But what about the prefatory clause? What does the a “well regulated militia” have to do with an individual right? Scalia explained well in Heller:

The Second Amendment’s prefatory clause announces the purpose for which the right was codified: to prevent elimination of the militia. The prefatory clause does not suggest that preserving the militia was the only reason Americans valued the ancient right; most undoubtedly thought it even more important for self-defense and hunting. But the threat that the new Federal Government would destroy the citizens’ militia by taking away their arms was the reason that right — unlike some other English rights — was codified in a written Constitution.

To believe that the Second Amendment is a collective right, Scalia concluded, is to believe that the authors of the Bill of Rights employed individualist language in order to protect the people’s right to take part in militia organizations over which the national government enjoys plenary power.

Naturally, neither the Constitution nor the Bill of Rights spells out every individual liberty. (Indeed, the Ninth Amendment declares this quite clearly, saying, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”) But, in the face of pressure from those who were skeptical of the new government, a few core rights were given special protections to which the people might appeal if the government attempted to take them away. As explained below, the colonists remembered the English king’s tyrannical efforts to suppress liberty in part through the confiscation of arms. The Second Amendment was the response.

The historical record unequivocally supports the existence of an individual right.

It is critical to remember that the Founding Fathers were Englishmen before they were Americans. When they began to sow the seeds of revolt against the British crown, they sought not to destroy all that had gone before but to protect rights that they believed they already possessed. Thus, when George III responded to unrest by attempting to disarm rebellious colonists, he “provoked polemical reactions by Americans invoking their rights as Englishmen to keep arms,” Scalia wrote. (“Arms,” incidentally, did not mean only “muskets” but included any personal weapon that could be wielded by an individual, including but not limited to “musket and bayonet,” “side arms,” and “sabre, holster pistols, and carbine.”)

Justice Scalia understood this well:

By the time of the founding, the right to have arms had become fundamental for English subjects. Blackstone, whose works, we have said, “constituted the preeminent authority on English law for the founding generation,” cited the arms provision of the Bill of Rights as one of the fundamental rights of Englishmen. His description of it cannot possibly be thought to tie it to militia or military service. It was, he said, “the natural right of resistance and self-preservation,” and “the right of having and using arms for self-preservation and defence.” Other contemporary authorities concurred. Thus, the right secured in 1689 as a result of the Stuarts’ abuses was by the time of the founding understood to be an individual right protecting against both public and private violence. (Citations omitted.)

Writing in 1803, after the ratification of the Bill of Rights, St. George Tucker updated Blackstone’s Commentaries. In America, Tucker wrote, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed . . . and this without any qualification as to their condition or degree, as is the case in the British government.” The United States, he boasted, “may reasonably hope that the people will never cease to regard the right of keeping and bearing arms as the surest pledge of their liberty.”

Similar explanations were forthcoming from all of the major jurists of the era, including William Rawle and Joseph Story. There are no published arguments to the contrary.

The assertion that there was no right to own a weapon would have utterly mystified the American colonist.
Not all colonists owned guns. But it is well established that guns were widely owned and widely used in colonial America. Frankly, the assertion that there was no right to own a weapon would have utterly mystified the American colonist, who would have rightly seen such a notion as dangerous to his independence and to his life. As free men have argued since the days of Justinian, every individual enjoys an inalienable right to self-defense. To strip him of access to arms is, effectively, to strip him of the capacity to exercise that right. For an example of this, one needs only look at the Reconstruction-era South, in which whites were helped along in their domination of freed blacks by laws that deprived former slaves of their guns.

And that brings us to the final, critical point.

Natural law supports the existence of an individual right.

One cannot analyze the Second Amendment without understanding its moral and philosophical underpinnings. Colonial America was a land populated by people who were both highly literate biblically and steeped in Lockean philosophy.

The biblical record sanctioning self-defense is clear. In Exodus 22, the Law of Moses permits a homeowner to kill even a mere thief who entered his home at night, and the books of Esther and Nehemiah celebrate the self-defense of the Jews against their lawless attackers. Nehemiah exhorted the Israelites to defend themselves: “Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.” The oft-forgotten climax of the book of Esther is an act of bloody self-defense against a genocidal foe.

Nor did Jesus require his followers to surrender their lives — or the lives of spouses, children, or neighbors — in the face of armed attack. His disciples carried swords, and in one memorable passage in Luke 22, he declared there were circumstances in which the unarmed should arm themselves: “If you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.” Christ’s famous admonition in his Sermon the Mount to “turn the other cheek” in the face of a physical blow is not a command to surrender to deadly violence, and it certainly isn’t a command to surrender family members or neighbors to deadly violence.

In his Second Treatise of Civil Government, Locke described the right of self-defense as a “fundamental law of nature”:

Sec. 16. The state of war is a state of enmity and destruction: and therefore declaring by word or action, not a passionate and hasty, but a sedate settled design upon another man’s life, puts him in a state of war with him against whom he has declared such an intention, and so has exposed his life to the other’s power to be taken away by him, or any one that joins with him in his defence, and espouses his quarrel; it being reasonable and just, I should have a right to destroy that which threatens me with destruction: for, by the fundamental law of nature, man being to be preserved as much as possible, when all cannot be preserved, the safety of the innocent is to be preferred: and one may destroy a man who makes war upon him, or has discovered an enmity to his being, for the same reason that he may kill a wolf or a lion; because such men are not under the ties of the commonlaw of reason, have no other rule, but that of force and violence, and so may be treated as beasts of prey, those dangerous and noxious creatures, that will be sure to destroy him whenever he falls into their power. (Emphasis added.)

Moreover, Locke argues, these laws of nature were inseparable from the will of God:

The rules that they make for other men’s actions, must, as well as their own and other men’s actions, be conformable to the law of nature, i.e. to the will of God, of which that is a declaration, and the fundamental law of nature being the preservation of mankind, no human sanction can be good, or valid against it.

This right is so fundamental that it’s difficult to find even leftist writers who would deny a citizen the right to protect her own life. Yet at the same time, many would deny Americans the right of effective self-defense by leaving their ability to own and carry a weapon to the good graces of the government. Alas, fists are notoriously ineffective against armed criminals, and they are wholly useless against a tyrannical state.

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