Privledge vs Right? and other 2nd Amendment questions.


Pele

VA State CCW Holder!
Just for the record, I'm pro second amendment. I just want to get a few definitions straight.

Here's the exact wording from the little pocket sized version of the Constitution that I have on me.

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary for the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed."

Couple of questions:

What exactly counts as "Arms"?
Could a rocket launcher be covered? Mortar? Flame thrower? Truckload of fertilizer and heating oil?
Nuclear InterContinental Ballistic Missile with Multiple Independent Reentry Vehicles?
Where does one draw the line at what Arms are appropriate for a civilian?

Who counts as "the people"?
Perhaps I've held up my share of banks and retail stores. Hey, it pays better than a 9 to 5, AND you don't have to deal with those pesky W2 or 1040 forms. Maybe I've even wounded someone or worse... I still retain my American citizenship. Don't I still count as "the people"?
Where does one draw the line at who gets what rights when they've proven to abuse them?

And what's with that bit on a Militia? Or those words just previous, "well regulated"? How do those come into play?

I'll get a little more on those from Webster's. I can't access this site at work. It comes up as "Access Denied - Illegal Content"... Must be because I work in D.C.
 

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tattedupboy

Thank God I'm alive!
Good subject for a thread. I know I'm going to be met with some resistance on this part, but as for "arms" I believe that the term was only intended to cover firearms, muzzleloaders, and blackpowder rifles; basically, anything that shoots a projectile with the squeeze of a trigger.

As for the people, I believe it to mean all citizens and people who are here legally; does not apply to illegal aliens. As for who cannot possess "arms" I believe that the 14th Amendment covers that,(nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law), meaning that anyone who is imprisoned can be deprived of their rights, including RKBA, as long as they've been given due process.

Finally, as for the militia, the founding fathers understood that to mean all able bodied males.
 

Onlinedad

New member
I agree that at the time of its writing "Arms" probably reffered to the available weapons at the time. However since technology has improved in our Arms capabilities, and selections. I think we should all have the right to have what ever we want to buy. Shouldnt a well regulated militia have tanks, and helos, and what ever else? Wouldnt these be neccassary for a free state, IF it had to compete with the State's military/govt?

I do believe that there are some people that should not be able to own firearms, but they are the people who have had the legal due process that has had good reason to take away that right (rapists, murderers)

And since we are asking legal questions, here is one of mine to throw in:

So, if the 2A protects our RKBA, then how do some states/cities pass laws and ordinances banning/restricting gun rights?
If I have a CCW for a state, and in that state there is a city that has an anti ccw ordinance, then wouldnt that city be illegally overriding the constitution? In which case I could/should still be able to carry, since I am protected by the constitution to do so?
 
Let's look at a founding father's statement on arms:

George Washington: "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the
people's liberty teeth (and) keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than
99% of them [guns] by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very
atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference [crime]. When firearms go, all goes,
we need them every hour." (Address to 1st session of Congress)

This leads me to conclude that "arms" are those used for self defense. Weapons of mass destruction (WMD) would not be included in this and who wants anyone running around with a nuclear or biological device anyway? Any small arm designed to be carried by an individual and primarily used as self defense should be included. I don't believe this includes flame throwers, bazookas, grenades, etc.
 

HK4U

New member
The following has a good, and cheap little book on the Second Amendment. It is a good sourse for info on the constitution and other writings as well. Very conservitive.

Link Removed
 

wuzfuz

New member
Privilege vs Right

Whenever one discusses the Second Amendment, it is necessary to go back to the era of our Founding Fathers, to use the language they used when they framed these documents. Language is a living thing, constantly changing. However, the intent of the FF was clearly understood by everyone in the late 1700s. Here is a breakdown, using the language of the time.

A well-regulated militia - To the Founding Fathers, and the other citizens of the early United Staes, well-regulated had only one meaning, well-trained. The militia was ALL male adults from the age of 18 to 45, I believe. Each man was required to maintain a musket, powder and lead and a rucksack of necessary supplies, and report for training with his weapon on a regular basis, and be ready to heed the call to defend his town if needed. If a man could not afford a musket, the commander of the militia would see to it that he received one.

being necessary to the security of a free state- The Founding Fathers did not trust a strong central government, they had just kicked one off the continent and did not want a new one to replace it. The FF knew that it took an armed, trained citizenry to defend their homes and towns , and by extension, the state, from enemies of whatever stripe.

The right of the people- It is clear here, that it is a collective right of the population, each citizen individually, not given over to a quasi-federal force. Anytime you see the word people in the Declaration or Constitution, it means the population of the fledgeling country.

To keep and bear arms- Arms, as mentioned here, meant the latest technology in weaponry, the smooth-bore musket, which was used by every modern army in the world at that time. In short, if there had been an assault rifle at the time of the American Revolution, each citizen would have been expected to have an assault rifle in his closet, and be well-trained in it's use and maintenance.

Shall not be infringed - Shall not be tampered with or weakened by government fiat, or whim of a possible despot. The right to maintain the means to defend one's self, their families, their homes and their community was a God-given right that no one had the power to modify or cancel.

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. It was as plain as language could be 200 years ago, and nothing all the Philadelphia lawyers can do to twist language around will ever change the original intent of the Founding Fathers.

If we lose the Second Amendment, then we have no way to defend the other nine amendments. We will have lost all.
 
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gdcleanfun

Banned
I agree that at the time of its writing "Arms" probably reffered to the available weapons at the time. However since technology has improved in our Arms capabilities, and selections. I think we should all have the right to have what ever we want to buy. Shouldnt a well regulated militia have tanks, and helos, and what ever else? Wouldnt these be neccassary for a free state, IF it had to compete with the State's military/govt?

I do believe that there are some people that should not be able to own firearms, but they are the people who have had the legal due process that has had good reason to take away that right (rapists, murderers)

And since we are asking legal questions, here is one of mine to throw in:

So, if the 2A protects our RKBA, then how do some states/cities pass laws and ordinances banning/restricting gun rights?
If I have a CCW for a state, and in that state there is a city that has an anti ccw ordinance, then wouldnt that city be illegally overriding the constitution? In which case I could/should still be able to carry, since I am protected by the constitution to do so?

For the most part, I agree with your statement that arms should be all arms. (Or, more specifically and imho, those that can be legally obtained. Is it up to the citizenry to fight for the right to possess all that they want? Maybe that's another thread?) The word arms means any weapons, not just firearms, according to Dictionary.com. Because something was not in existence or use when the Bill of Rights was written does not mean that it's automatically excluded. If that were the case, the long-standing and beloved Colt .45 1911 pistol would be taboo. Along the same line of reasoning, the First Amendment was written without the internet but the internet is now and forever "covered" by it. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights were written to be "living documents," meaning they will cover such issues as they arise, now and in the future, and not just to cover those issues that were issues back then.
 

Pele

VA State CCW Holder!
Well, it seems that we're all in agreement that Arms are intended for self defense...

Let me play devils advocate:

Why does one need an AR-15, AK-47, or any such assault rifle for self defense?
Why does one need a 15 round magazine for self defense? If you're not getting the job done in 7 rounds, you're most likely not going to get it done at all.
Why would one need an M1 Garand, Thompson Submachine gun, or any of the other various ex-military or generally higher power/fast fire rate gun that's on the Curios and Relics list?
(I'm applying for my C&R FFL specifically for some more modern WWII era guns.)

These seem excessive for self defense.
 

tattedupboy

Thank God I'm alive!
Well, it seems that we're all in agreement that Arms are intended for self defense...

Let me play devils advocate:

Why does one need an AR-15, AK-47, or any such assault rifle for self defense?
Why does one need a 15 round magazine for self defense? If you're not getting the job done in 7 rounds, you're most likely not going to get it done at all.
Why would one need an M1 Garand, Thompson Submachine gun, or any of the other various ex-military or generally higher power/fast fire rate gun that's on the Curios and Relics list?
(I'm applying for my C&R FFL specifically for some more modern WWII era guns.)

These seem excessive for self defense.

The Second Amendment spells out a right, something that need not be justified on the basis of a NEED. If arms were only allowed to be owned on the basis of a need, then who's to stop the government from requiring other constitutional rights (such as freedom of religion, speech, etc.) to be exercised only on the basis of "need?"
 
Well, it seems that we're all in agreement that Arms are intended for self defense...

Let me play devils advocate:

Why does one need an AR-15, AK-47, or any such assault rifle for self defense?
Why does one need a 15 round magazine for self defense? If you're not getting the job done in 7 rounds, you're most likely not going to get it done at all.
Why would one need an M1 Garand, Thompson Submachine gun, or any of the other various ex-military or generally higher power/fast fire rate gun that's on the Curios and Relics list?
(I'm applying for my C&R FFL specifically for some more modern WWII era guns.)

These seem excessive for self defense.

Let's see, I'm on vacation and make a wrong turn. Car trouble makes me stop and I'm now confronted with multiple BG's (pick a number). By law I'm restricted to 8 rounds in my magazine and have maybe a dozen or more gang bangers unhappy with my presence. They didn't seem to hear about that law and are better armed. This would be a good time to have a full capacity (high cap, if you must) magazine already in the gun and at least one more available.

The second reason is recreational shooting. Why should you be limited to a 5 round magazine? We continually want to punish law abiding gun owners for the acts of violent criminals. It's not the tool that's evil but the person that misuses that tool. Some believe capital punishment doesn't deter, however, I'm a long standing believer that if you execute the Manson's, Gein's, Bundy's, Dahmer's and Gacy's they will never kill again. Our prison system is over populated as it is. Some need to be cleared out.
 

FN1910

New member
There is around 300.000.000 people in the US and about that many opinions on what 2A means. From what I read on most gun boards arms means handguns and AR-15's. :lol: The people means just those who decide to openly carry them and not LEO's. :hang3:

Do arms mean WMD? If you accept that they are not included or tanks or RPG then where do you put the limit? During the Revolutionary war many of the cannons and ships were privately owned so we can't put a limit on what was available back them.

The people is still a big question. Back in 1792 the people actually only meant able bodied white men and a few freed black men. Slaves were counted at only .5 persons and women weren't allowed to vote. Today we restrict felons and most wnat to restrict illegal aliens. If it is a naturaly born inherent right then why do we want to deny illegal aliens their God given right.

I don't have an answer for you but I can counteract just about any argument that anyone can come up with usually with their own arguments. :patsak: This is always a good subject for discussion but never expect a solution. :agree:
 
W

wolfhunter

Guest
The Second Amendment was written so ordinary folks could rise up against a tyrranic government if needed. It stands to reason that those ordinary folks should have access to the same equipment.
 

Jay

New member
Why does one need an AR-15, AK-47, or any such assault rifle for self defense?
Why does one need a 15 round magazine for self defense? If you're not getting the job done in 7 rounds, you're most likely not going to get it done at all.
Why would one need an M1 Garand, Thompson Submachine gun, or any of the other various ex-military or generally higher power/fast fire rate gun that's on the Curios and Relics list?

Ask that question if the social infrastructure in this country goes down. If the have-nots can't buy food, fuel, and other amenities, they're gonna try to take it form those who have it. I can start defending myself and family at around 600 meters......... with an AR, and 30 round mags.

Why do some folks "need" a vehicle that will do 150 miles an hour? Why do you "need" more that two pair of shoes? Why do you "need" more than one TV set ? The Constitution does NOT mention vehicles, shoes, or TV's..... but it does mention arms, and the Constitution does NOT say what kind or how many I can have. See, more guns is better......
 

HK4U

New member
Freedom to bear arms is akin to freedom of speech.
Why do we need either of them?
We just do.

We need the second amendment so that we can protect the first and all others. When the second goes the others will soon follow.
 

Scout

New member
My .02

The right to bear arms, when written, meant the same type of arms as any standing military.

This meant the people would be able to defend themselves against any type of "new govt" overthrow attempt.

As said, at the time this was written it meant what has already been described.

I believe it still holds true to this day, as the 2nd Amendment has not been "amended".

The problem is that each State has the legislative power to ban certain weapons.

Although the Sunshine Law concerning AW's has come and gone, most states that banned AW's still have that law on their books.

Just my 2 cents.
 

tattedupboy

Thank God I'm alive!
Slaves were counted at only .5 persons and women weren't allowed to vote. . :agree:

Correction. Each slaves counted as 3/5 of a person, not .5.

Anyway, it would have been nice if the Founding Fathers could have forseen the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and been in a position to weigh in on whether those are protected under 2A. Because they did not, we're left guessing. Personally, I think they only wanted firearms that could be activated with the squeeze of a trigger, and only those.
 
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magicman007

New member
AFA the weapons our Founding Fathers were talking about, no one will ever be truly sure. But, if you look at the weapons available at the time, they had cannons, swivel guns, muskets, pistols, etc. Now, obviously most people did not own cannons or swivel guns, but they WERE available. These wepons were not left out by the statement in the Second Amendment. While there was no way they could have seen the types of weapons available to us in this day and age, they obvioulsy did NOT mean to limit what they were talking about. My thought is they left that to those who would follow in their footsteps. Although they I can't believe they could have seen the world of S*&T we're in today!
 
While some don't want to admit it every right is limited in some way, especially when it impacts the right of another. There will always be those who abuse any given right and cause problems for those responsible persons who use them correctly. This is why there are laws against shouting "fire" in a crowded theater or "I've got a bomb" in an airport. This is why there are laws against trespassing, poaching, and shooting someone without cause. If everyone would use these rights with the equally great responsibility that goes along with them laws would not be necessary. Since this is not the case laws should be designed for the criminal use and not against those who are law abiding, responsible citizens.
 

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