View Poll Results: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

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  • You can have any gun you want and no one can stop you.

    17 33.33%
  • You can have any ARM you want. Why stop at guns? Knives, grenades, nunchucks, tanks...it's all good!

    10 19.61%
  • Yeah, you can have a gun, but there are limits to that right, like every other right.

    21 41.18%
  • You can have a gun so you can join in a militia instead of having a standing army.

    10 19.61%
  • You can have an 18th century single-shot firearm and no one can stop you.

    8 15.69%
  • You and your gun cannot be singled out by the government, it has to follow it's own laws

    8 15.69%
  • As a principle you should have the right to a gun, but we're not going to explain how.

    4 7.84%
  • It's purposefully vague.

    5 9.80%
  • Other

    10 19.61%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

  1. #111
    Advisor aberrant85's Avatar
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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harshaw View Post
    You completely missed his point. You would obviously consider the content of TV, the Internet, and electrically-powered printing presses to be protected by the First Amendment without any fuss. That's much more of a stretch under your silly "18th century" argument than the arms of today.
    Yes, but you're missing the point. Freedom of press obviously extends to TV and the internet despite never being spelled out in the constitution. Likewise, limits to the freedom of press have been introduced through regulation through the FCC despite not being spelled out in the constitution.

    In exactly the same way, the freedom to bear arms can be regulated given the realities of new technologies without having to trigger a constitutional crisis.

  2. #112
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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    Quote Originally Posted by aberrant85 View Post
    Yes, but you're missing the point. Freedom of press obviously extends to TV and the internet despite never being spelled out in the constitution. Likewise, limits to the freedom of press have been introduced through regulation through the FCC despite not being spelled out in the constitution.

    In exactly the same way, the freedom to bear arms can be regulated given the realities of new technologies without having to trigger a constitutional crisis.
    The one doesn't follow the other.

    First, most FCC regulations don't have anything to do with content. They have to do with the difficulties of sharing airwaves. Freedom of speech is not affected by that, any more than it's affected by the lack of infinite space on the streets in order to put down soapboxes.

    Second, content-based regulations are based on the notion that X type of thing doesn't fall within the actual concept of freedom of speech. The concept is not absolute, and never has been, not even under the original understanding of it. In fact, in a number of ways, the level of freedom protected under the First Amendment exceeds the original understanding of what the freedom of speech entails. And the Framers would be fine with that. The freedom of speech and the freedom of the press are very different things than the right to keep and bear arms, so no, that freedom of speech/press are restricted does NOT mean that the right to keep and bear arms may be.

    Third, you seem to making the argument that OBVIOUSLY FCC regulations are a constitutional power of Congress, therefore, it's proof of a "living constitution." But it is not at all obvious that FCC regulations ARE constitutional powers, so that's a base you don't get to steal.
    “Offing those rich pigs with their own forks and knives, and then eating a meal in the same room, far out! The Weathermen dig Charles Manson.”-- Bernadine Dohrn

  3. #113
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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Steel View Post
    As I said in my posting, the Second Amendment deals with an arcane principle of government. Misunderstanding is not uncommon nor are comments made on the basis of misunderstanding.
    so will put this in respective.

    do you think people have a right to bare arms, meaning to hold them for protection, hunting, and against tyranny?

    or do you believe government has the power to regulate the use of arms, to what government desires.

  4. #114
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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Steel View Post
    The Second Amendment is not about guns. It's about the nature of the military.

    that is incorrect the nature of the 2nd is a prohibition on government power, because the bill of rights are restrictive clauses, everyone of them....don't believe me read it for yourself.

    The Preamble to The Bill of Rights

    Congress of the United States
    begun and held at the City of New-York, on
    Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

    THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its [federal]powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.


    these clauses restrict government from making laws infringing on rights

  5. #115
    Advisor Willie Orwontee's Avatar
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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    Quote Originally Posted by aberrant85 View Post
    Well, help me understand how much a right can be or not be limited.
    In the most fundamental sense "rights" can not be limited because there exists no legitimate power for government to bear upon a citizen exercising a right.

    The simple recognition / acknowledgement by government that a right exists (i.e., in the Bill of Rights) is a concession / stipulation that no express federal power exists to impact that right. That doesn't mean that only listed rights are safe, that by not including a right, the framers meant that government power should fill the vacuum.

    The federal government is one strictly of conferred powers. It can only exercise the powers granted to it and all powers not included in the Constitution are retained by the people or the states. These truths led to the addition of the 9th and 10th Amendments. The 9th covers rights that are retained but unenumerated; "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. " and the 10th reaffirms the principle that Constitutional powers are limited by that enumeration, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

    Quote Originally Posted by aberrant85 View Post
    Could the federal government write a law that said that a blind person could not carry a concealed weapon? If not, could a state or local government? Or is that infringing on their right?
    The federal government has argued that powers should be recognized to allow it to restrict access to arms by certain individuals or classes of people like the mentally impaired and felons and those dishonorably discharged from the military. Currently, this authority is claimed under the commerce clause of the Constitution, Art I 8, cl 3, "Congress shall have the power: To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes: " because they argue, criminals and kooks possessing guns effects interstate commerce . . .

    The vast majority of federal gun control law is written under the commerce clause. Not a syllable of any gun regulation is written under the militia clauses or reasoned on Congressional authority to regulate the militia and yet it was argued by the government (defending those laws in court) that militia authority was what justified those laws. Yes, it truly is as absurd and senseless and incongruent as it sounds, which is why the "militia right" and "state's right" theories have been relegated to the trash pile of defunct / illegitimate legal reasoning . . .

    States do possess much more authority to dictate how arms are borne and the issuance (or non-issuance) of a CCW is not a federal manner as far as the 2nd Amendment is concerned. If anything it could become a 14th Amendment issue but not as 14th Amendment jurisprudence stands now (with Slaughterhouse standing).

    Quote Originally Posted by aberrant85 View Post
    I'm not trying to be facetious, I really just want to understand where limits on rights can be placed.
    With the right to arms being of fundamental status, the protection criteria is applied before any argument is heard from government pleading for a power to limit the right. The protection criteria for arms has been established since 1939. They demand inspection of the type of arm and a determination of whether it meets the following:

    Is the arm of a type . . . In common use at the time by citizens and that constitutes the ordinary military equipment and/or can be employed advantageously in the common defense of the citizens.

    If the type of arm meets any of those criteria a government claim of authority to restrict the citizen's possession and use is repelled. The federal government can only restrict arms that fail that criteria which permits those types of arms to be deemed "dangerous or unusual".

    In Heller, the Court determined that handguns were in common use by the citizenry and thus protected by the 2nd Amendment and the DC statutes banning their possession was unconstitutional. One can apply those criteria on arms such as assault weapons and the outcome is obvious.
    I already have a license to own a gun; it's called a birth certificate.

  6. #116
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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harshaw View Post
    Third, you seem to making the argument that OBVIOUSLY FCC regulations are a constitutional power of Congress, therefore, it's proof of a "living constitution." But it is not at all obvious that FCC regulations ARE constitutional powers, so that's a base you don't get to steal.
    Thank you, you have demonstrated your libertarian credentials. I'm ok with not arguing with you further, because when you consider every function of the government to be unconstitutional you have then put up a wall reality and your ideal world.

  7. #117
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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    Quote Originally Posted by aberrant85 View Post
    Start with "arms"
    You have to look at context. Look at the definition of right
    Right-
    Adjective
    1. morally good, justified, or acceptable.
    2. true or correct as a fact.
    Adverb
    1. to the furthest or most complete extent or degree (used for emphasis).
    2. correctly
    Noun
    1. that which is morally correct, just, or honorable.
    2. a moral or legal entitlement to have or obtain something or to act in a certain way.
    Verb
    1. restore to a normal or upright position.
    Exclamation-informal
    1. used to indicate one's agreement with a suggestion or to acknowledge a statement or order.

    Bear-
    Verb
    1. (of a person) carry
    EX: he was bearing a tray of brimming glasses"
    2. support
    EX: walls that cannot bear a stone vault"synonyms:support,*carry,*hold up,*prop up*
    3. endure (an ordeal or difficulty)
    EX: she bore the pain stoically"
    4. give birth to (a child).
    5. turn and proceed in a specified direction

    It would be difficult to understand if you take it all out of context, so I will play along.

    The right (meaning moral good) to bear (carry) arms (human appendages between shoulders and hands) must not be infringed. Uh does this mean that it's moral not to cut off your arms and then there is this carry part, makes no real sense. Especially when you add in the rest of the sentience.

    I am not going to go through all of the definitions because it's ridiculous. I can find different meanings for nearly every word in the constitution and bill of rights.

    A militia is a military force that is raised from the civil population to supplement a regular army in an emergency. Having arms meaning anatomical appendages between your solders and elbows can't really supplement an army. So in this regard they are talking about armaments, meaning military weapons and equipment.

    The right of the people to bear arms must not be infringed. That means that the legal entitlement of the people to hold/carry military weapons and equipment must not be altered to diminish by government or any entity or person.

    That particular language isn't at all in dispute. It's quite clear through context that when they use the word arm they are talking about military weapons and equipment. You pointing out that the word "arm" disambiguated has more than one meaning doesn't really render the amendment meaningless. Nice try, but nearly every weird has two or more meanings. Here is a list of the words in the second amendment that have more than one meaning.
    Well, regulated, being, free, state, Right, people, keep, bear, arms, must, be. If you really want to play this game all of our rights come into question. Speech, press, search, seizure, cruel and unusual, so on. Do you rally want to undermine the entire constitution and bill of rights to destroy one right?

  8. #118
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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    Quote Originally Posted by trfjr View Post
    the bill of rights wasn't written to give us our rights it was written to keep government from taking them away . the bill of rights was written as a limiting document not an enabling document
    The Bill of Rights attempts to define the relationship between the People, collectively as sovereign, and the government they created. By establishing the rights of the People, it restricts the government certain actions. In that sense, you're correct.
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  9. #119
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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    Quote Originally Posted by ernst barkmann View Post
    so will put this in respective.

    do you think people have a right to bare arms, meaning to hold them for protection, hunting, and against tyranny?

    or do you believe government has the power to regulate the use of arms, to what government desires.
    Rights are created by statute, court decisions, government procedures and, rarely, by convention. To the extent you can identify a right to possess a gun created by any of these acts, then yes.
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  10. #120
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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    Quote Originally Posted by ernst barkmann View Post
    that is incorrect the nature of the 2nd is a prohibition on government power, because the bill of rights are restrictive clauses, everyone of them....don't believe me read it for yourself.

    ...

    these clauses restrict government from making laws infringing on rights
    Rights are best apprehended not so much as the capacity to do something but as the capacity to prevail against an obstacle to doing it. To that extent you're correct.

    In the case of the Second Amendment, the declared right to a citizen army creates the capacity to prevail against a government attempt to create a professional or standing army. Now, I realize the United States has a large standing army such as the Founders feared but that's a separate issue. It doesn't change the understanding of what they intended.
    Proud to be a tax and spend leftist.

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