Just a Thought About the Second Amendment

And here it is, just to remind you:

"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."

I had never thought of this before, but it just occurred to me that the bill protects the right to "keep and bear arms."  It says nothing at all about owning them.  I would say that, under a literal interpretation of the second amendment, there is nothing to prevent the government from banning the private ownership of weapons.

Well, what do you think?  I mean, that's what they said, right?  Original intent and the Founding Fathers and all that...how do you think right wingers would respond to that argument?


Screech said…
I like your point. It's the same as I've held for some time. I've told people who care to ask about my position on the 2nd Amendment that I am a big fan of the 2nd Amendment, especially the "well regulated" part. Using your angle the original intent would likely be interpreted as a state or national guard. This idea is probably far closer to the founding fathers intent than the sick situation we endure today. We shouldn't be surprised when ammosexuals point out that their local militias are equal to a national guard, in which case they're overlooking the "well regulated" part.
Jerry Critter said…
They will say "bear" means own. But, as usual, they will be wrong. The fact is that they ignore both "bear" and "well regulated", and simply cherry-pick the phrase "shall not be infringed".

Green Eagle said…
Screech, as I have discussed in some detail in previous posts, the meaning of "well-regulated" is explicitly defined in Federalist Paper #29, which leaves the regulating to the Federal government. So much for the militia movement being a manifestation of what the second amendment is about. And, in Federalist Paper #27, the notion that militias are intended to protect us from the Federal government is referred to as a specimen of mental illness.
Screech said…
Green Eagle and all, regarding the phrase "bear arms". The only sticky issue with the phrase might be connected to the history and the time period when the document was written. Please dance on my ass if I'm wrong, but during the time of Washington and the following young Federal period, federally owned weapons (long guns) were often in short supply or not available. In this case it would be expected that the citizen soldier would pack along their personal long rifle, and in fact would be expected to own one, since this was still largely a wild territory west of the east coast. Given that fact, it would make since that the early government would want to protect the ability of its citizens to own a personal war implements, useful in protecting the new country/government.
joseph said…
Mr. Eagle,

In 1939, before the oligarchs took over, the Supreme Court decided a case called People v. Miller http://rkba.org/research/miller/Miller.html That Court held that it is a state right, not an individual right. The other thing is, if your want to actually use original intent, then the individual right should only extend to weapons in existence in 1787.
joseph said…
One other thing, a firearm is a weapon, the bullets are something else. So a literal reading of the second amendment, even if it conveyed an individual right, would only allow the ownership of guns, not of ammunition.
Green Eagle said…
Screech, no dancing here. I want to suggest to you that you at least familiarize yourself with Federalist paper #29, which is no longer than many blog posts, and can be found here:


A small sample:

"It requires no skill in the science of war to discern that uniformity in the organization and discipline of the militia would be attended with the most beneficial effects... This desirable uniformity can only be accomplished by confiding the regulation of the militia to the direction of the national authority...It is, therefore, with the most evident propriety, that the plan of the convention proposes to empower the Union "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"

"Regulation," in the words of the writers of the Constitution themselves (in this case, Alexander Hamilton, speaking for them all) consists of both training them and supplying them with arms, as well as directing their military activities.

I know this doesn't apply to you, who are obviously sincerely interested in the subject, but it continues to amaze me that gun nuts spout off for years about what this amendment means, without ever once referring to the actual words of its writers, which utterly disprove their claims.
Screech said…
Thanks, Green Eagle. I'm taking a look now.
Anonymous said…
Denmark,France and Australia has strict gun control laws

How did that work out?
joseph said…

Are you kidding? Australia had the Port Arthur massacre, then passed strict gun control laws. It hasn't had one since. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/14/america-mass-murder-australia-gun-control-saves-lives In the meantime, how many have we had? How many more do we need?
Green Eagle said…
Anonymous is not kidding. He is just being his usual dickish self.

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