The 2nd Amendment (Why we our Founders wrote it)

Discussion in 'US Constitution' started by ding, Oct 28, 2016.

  1. ding
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    ding Confront reality Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    The Right to Bear Arms (i.e. the 2nd Amendment) was seen by our Founding Fathers as the last check against tyranny. They knew that the best line of defense against a standing army was an armed populace.

    "If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual state. In a single state, if the persons intrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair."

    - Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 28

    "f circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist."

    - Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 28

    The people who wish to preserve liberty and are capable of bearing arms are the militia.

    “A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves…and include, according to the past and general usuage of the states, all men capable of bearing arms… "To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."

    - Richard Henry Lee, Federal Farmer No. 18, January 25, 1788

    The Founding Fathers believed that peaceable law abiding citizens should never have their right to bear arms be infringed upon.

    "And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the Press, or the rights of Conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, WHO ARE PEACEABLE CITIZENS, from keeping their own arms; …"

    Samuel Adams quoted in the Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer, August 20, 1789, "Propositions submitted to the Convention of this State"

    The fundamental purpose of the militia is to serve as a check upon a standing army, the words “well regulated” referred to the necessity that the armed citizens making up the militia have the level of equipment and training necessary to be an effective and formidable check upon the national government’s standing army.

    "I ask who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers." - George Mason, Address to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 4, 1788

    "Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every country in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops." - Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, October 10, 1787

    "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country." - James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434, June 8, 1789

    “A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves…and include, according to the past and general usuage of the states, all men capable of bearing arms… "To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them." - Richard Henry Lee, Federal Farmer No. 18, January 25, 1788

    Well regulated does not mean regulations. When the Constitution specifies regulations it specifically states who and what is being regulated. 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. The fundamental purpose of the militia was to serve as a check upon a standing army, the words “well regulated” referred to the necessity that the armed citizens making up the militia have the necessary equipment and training necessary to be an effective and formidable check upon the national government’s standing army. 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.
     
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  2. C_Clayton_Jones
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    C_Clayton_Jones Diamond Member

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    Nowhere in the history, text, or case law of the Second Amendment will one find any reference to the Second Amendment 'trumping' the First Amendment, or authorizing the Second Amendment to abridge the First Amendment right of the people to petition the government for a redress of grievances through either the political process or the judicial process.

    That a minority of citizens might subjectively and in error perceive government to have become 'tyrannical' in no manner 'justifies' that minority to 'take up arms' against a government lawfully sanctioned by a majority of the people, where government is indeed functioning in accordance with the Constitution and its case law.

    There must first be consensus and agreement among the people through the political and democratic process as to what constitutes actual 'tyranny,' and that, consistent with that consensus, the government is in fact 'tyrannical' - then and only then might 'taking up arms' be warranted and lawful.
     
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  3. frigidweirdo
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    frigidweirdo Gold Member

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    Firstly the right to bear arms doesn't give you an armed populace. That's the right to keep arms. The right to bear arms is the right to be in the militia.

    i.e., the militia with citizen soldiers, that means you need people with the guns for the militia, and you need people to use the guns in the militia.
     
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  4. ding
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    ding Confront reality Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    No one said it did, but that also works the other way too. Nowhere in the history, text, or case law of the First Amendment will one find any reference to the First Amendment 'trumping' the Second Amendment, or authorizing the First Amendment to abridge the Second Amendment right of the people to bear arms. One right does not trump another. Rights, are not given or granted they exist by simply being, and they impose nothing upon another. When the exercise of a right imposes upon another, one has exceeded the natural limitations of that right.
     
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  5. ding
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    ding Confront reality Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    First of all that was exactly how this nation was founded. Please see the Declaration of Independence for the authority cited to do so. Secondly, If said government is indeed functioning in accordance with the Constitution, then there won't be a problem. And lastly, there is ample evidence which proves that Founding Father's intention was for the 2nd Amendment to serve as a last check against a tyrannical government with a standing army despite your above objections. Please see the OP for this proof.
     
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  6. ding
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    ding Confront reality Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    I believe you are splitting hairs that were not meant to be split.

    “A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves…and include, according to the past and general usuage of the states, all men capable of bearing arms… "To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them." - Richard Henry Lee, Federal Farmer No. 18, January 25, 1788
     
  7. frigidweirdo
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    frigidweirdo Gold Member

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    I find on this topic there is a mass of disinformation and looking the wrong way deliberately. I'm not splitting hairs, you said it wrong and I'm happy to point people in the right direction, even if most of the times people ignore it.

    The right to keep arms is the right to own weapons so the militia will have a ready supply of weapons in times of need.
    The right to bear arms is the right to be in the militia so the militia will have a ready supply of personnel to use those weapons in times of need.

    There's no splitting hairs. Just fact.
     
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  8. ding
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    ding Confront reality Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    I disagree. To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them." - Richard Henry Lee, Federal Farmer No. 18, January 25, 1788

    No where here does it say have access or have a ready supply. It literally says possess.

    possess: have as belonging to one; own.

    Furthermore, at the time of ratification, how did they have a ready supply if it were not for each citizen owning his own weapon?
     
  9. ding
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    ding Confront reality Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    How do you reconcile this testimony to the intention of the 2nd Amendment?

    "And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the Press, or the rights of Conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, WHO ARE PEACEABLE CITIZENS, from keeping their own arms; …"

    Samuel Adams quoted in the Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer, August 20, 1789, "Propositions submitted to the Convention of this State"

    Furthermore, if the people are not supposed to keep their own arms, who will? the government? They are the ones the Founding Fathers wrote the 2nd Amendment to protect us from, right?
     
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  10. frigidweirdo
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    frigidweirdo Gold Member

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    I'm sorry, but throwing quotes at me doesn't change a thing.

    Read this and come back to me: Amendment II: House of Representatives, Amendments to the Constitution
     
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