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%
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Thread: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

  1. #11
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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
    You can't google an online dictionary or what?
    You mean this:

    1arm noun \ˈärm\

    Definition of ARM

    1
    : a human upper limb; especially : the part between the shoulder and the wrist
    2
    : something like or corresponding to an arm: as
    a : the forelimb of a vertebrate
    b : a limb of an invertebrate animal
    c : a branch or lateral shoot of a plant
    d : a slender part of a structure, machine, or an instrument projecting from a main part, axis, or fulcrum
    e : the end of a ship's yard; also : the part of an anchor from the crown to the fluke — see anchor illustration
    f : any of the usually two parts of a chromosome lateral to the centromere
    3
    : an inlet of water (as from the sea)
    4
    : a narrow extension of a larger area, mass, or group
    5
    : power, might <the long arm of the law>
    6
    : a support (as on a chair) for the elbow and forearm
    7
    : sleeve
    8
    : the ability to throw or pitch a ball well; also : a player having such ability
    9
    : a functional division of a group, organization, institution, or activity <the logistical arm of the air force>
    — arm·less adjective
    — arm·like adjective
    — arm in arm
    : with arms linked together <walked down the street arm in arm>
    Origin of ARM

    Middle English, from Old English earm; akin to Latin armus shoulder, Sanskrit īrma arm
    First Known Use: before 12th century
    Other Anatomy Terms

    bilateral symmetry, carotid, cartilage, dorsal, entrails, prehensile, renal, solar plexus, supine, thoracic, ventral
    Rhymes with ARM

    barm, charm, farm, harm, smarm
    2arm verb
    : to provide (yourself, a group, a country, etc.) with weapons especially in order to fight a war or battle

    : to provide (someone) with a way of fighting, competing, or succeeding

    : to make (a bomb, weapon, etc.) ready for use
    Full Definition of ARM

    transitive verb
    1
    : to furnish or equip with weapons
    2
    : to furnish with something that strengthens or protects <arming citizens with the right to vote>
    3
    : to equip or ready for action or operation <arm a bomb>
    intransitive verb
    : to prepare oneself for struggle or resistance <arm for combat>
    See arm defined for English-language learners »
    Examples of ARM

    They armed the men for battle.
    The group of fighters was armed by a foreign government.
    The two countries have been arming themselves for years, but now they have agreed to disarm.
    We armed ourselves with the tools we would need to survive in the forest.
    They arm people with accurate information.
    arming women with the right to vote
    Once the bomb has been armed, we have five minutes to escape.
    Origin of ARM

    Middle English armen, from Anglo-French armer, from Latin armare, from arma weapons, tools; akin to Latin ars skill, Greek harmos joint, arariskein to fit
    First Known Use: 12th century
    3arm noun, often attributive
    Definition of ARM

    1
    a : a means (as a weapon) of offense or defense; especially : firearm
    b : a combat branch (as of an army)
    c : an organized branch of national defense (as the navy)
    2
    plural
    a : the hereditary heraldic devices of a family
    b : heraldic devices adopted by a government
    3
    plural
    a : active hostilities : warfare <a call to arms>
    b : military service
    — up in arms
    : aroused and ready to undertake a fight or conflict <voters up in arms over the proposed law>
    Origin of ARM

    Middle English armes (plural) weapons, from Anglo-French, from Latin arma
    First Known Use: 13th century

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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    Quote Originally Posted by aberrant85 View Post
    You mean this:

    1arm noun \ˈärm\

    Definition of ARM

    1
    : a human upper limb; especially : the part between the shoulder and the wrist
    2
    : something like or corresponding to an arm: as
    a : the forelimb of a vertebrate
    b : a limb of an invertebrate animal
    c : a branch or lateral shoot of a plant
    d : a slender part of a structure, machine, or an instrument projecting from a main part, axis, or fulcrum
    e : the end of a ship's yard; also : the part of an anchor from the crown to the fluke — see anchor illustration
    f : any of the usually two parts of a chromosome lateral to the centromere
    3
    : an inlet of water (as from the sea)
    4
    : a narrow extension of a larger area, mass, or group
    5
    : power, might <the long arm of the law>
    6
    : a support (as on a chair) for the elbow and forearm
    7
    : sleeve
    8
    : the ability to throw or pitch a ball well; also : a player having such ability
    9
    : a functional division of a group, organization, institution, or activity <the logistical arm of the air force>
    — arm·less adjective
    — arm·like adjective
    — arm in arm
    : with arms linked together <walked down the street arm in arm>
    Origin of ARM

    Middle English, from Old English earm; akin to Latin armus shoulder, Sanskrit īrma arm
    First Known Use: before 12th century
    Other Anatomy Terms

    bilateral symmetry, carotid, cartilage, dorsal, entrails, prehensile, renal, solar plexus, supine, thoracic, ventral
    Rhymes with ARM

    barm, charm, farm, harm, smarm
    2arm verb
    : to provide (yourself, a group, a country, etc.) with weapons especially in order to fight a war or battle

    : to provide (someone) with a way of fighting, competing, or succeeding

    : to make (a bomb, weapon, etc.) ready for use
    Full Definition of ARM

    transitive verb
    1
    : to furnish or equip with weapons
    2
    : to furnish with something that strengthens or protects <arming citizens with the right to vote>
    3
    : to equip or ready for action or operation <arm a bomb>
    intransitive verb
    : to prepare oneself for struggle or resistance <arm for combat>
    See arm defined for English-language learners »
    Examples of ARM

    They armed the men for battle.
    The group of fighters was armed by a foreign government.
    The two countries have been arming themselves for years, but now they have agreed to disarm.
    We armed ourselves with the tools we would need to survive in the forest.
    They arm people with accurate information.
    arming women with the right to vote
    Once the bomb has been armed, we have five minutes to escape.
    Origin of ARM

    Middle English armen, from Anglo-French armer, from Latin armare, from arma weapons, tools; akin to Latin ars skill, Greek harmos joint, arariskein to fit
    First Known Use: 12th century
    3arm noun, often attributive
    Definition of ARM

    1
    a : a means (as a weapon) of offense or defense; especially : firearm
    b : a combat branch (as of an army)
    c : an organized branch of national defense (as the navy)
    2
    plural
    a : the hereditary heraldic devices of a family
    b : heraldic devices adopted by a government
    3
    plural
    a : active hostilities : warfare <a call to arms>
    b : military service
    — up in arms
    : aroused and ready to undertake a fight or conflict <voters up in arms over the proposed law>
    Origin of ARM

    Middle English armes (plural) weapons, from Anglo-French, from Latin arma
    First Known Use: 13th century
    Yeah. Why ask everyone else to look it up for you when clearly you can do it yourself? Lazy much?

  3. #13
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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
    Yeah. Why ask everyone else to look it up for you when clearly you can do it yourself? Lazy much?
    I'm not going to stimulate conversation by defining things to myself. I want you to tell me what it means to see if we agree.

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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    Quote Originally Posted by aberrant85 View Post
    I'm not going to stimulate conversation by defining things to myself. I want you to tell me what it means to see if we agree.
    You're not going to stimulate conversation by asking people to define words for you. That's lame.

    We don't need to agree on what we each think it means because we have the Heller decision.

  5. #15
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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    Quote Originally Posted by aberrant85 View Post
    Gun control is a hot issue, but it all comes down to the 2nd Amendment, which reads:

    "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."

    But what does that sentence actually guarantee?
    No, it doesn't come down to what the second amendment actually says (whatever that means). It comes down to what the most recent Supreme Court interpretation of the second amendment says it says.

    Originally, the second amendment protected a militia-based right. It has since expanded considerable due to Supreme Court caselaw, and now the second amendment represents a fundamental individual right to own guns.

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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    No, it doesn't come down to what the second amendment actually says (whatever that means). It comes down to what the most recent Supreme Court interpretation of the second amendment says it says.

    Originally, the second amendment protected a militia-based right. It has since expanded considerable due to Supreme Court caselaw, and now the second amendment represents a fundamental individual right to own guns.
    In other words the intended meaning of the constitution is technically not as relevant as the most recent interpretation of its meaning. Yes, I think that's true. I think in general the idea of constitutionality is an eternal tug-of-war with what the founders intenders and what we believe they would have intended if they were alive today.

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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    Quote Originally Posted by aberrant85 View Post
    Yes, that is what I'm trying to get at. Arm, militia, infringe...
    "Well-regulated militia" means more or less the same thing as it does today, as does "the security of a free State." Neither of these are identical to their contemporary meanings as you pointed out, but they are close enough that we are able to understand. "Keep and bear arms," however, had a very different meaning then than it does today, which is well-known to historians but lost on the modern reader. You might recognize "arma" from the opening line of Vergil's Aeneid. The framers certainly did. This phrase "to bear arms" is a calque from the Latin, in fact, as were many phrases from English common law. See the quote below, written by a distinguished history professor, for an illuminating discussion of what "keep and bear arms" actually meant to the framers:

    1. Bear Arms. "To bear arms is, in itself, a military term. One does not bear arms against a rabbit. The phrase simply translates the Latin arma ferre. The infinitive ferre, to bear, comes from the verb fero. The plural noun arma explains the plural usage in English ('arms'). One does not 'bear arm.' Latin arma is, etymologically, war 'equipment,' and it has no singular forms. By legal and other channels, arma ferre entered deeply into the European language of war. To bear arms is such a synonym for waging war that Shakespeare can call a just war 'just-borne arms' and a civil war 'self-borne arms.' Even outside the phrase 'bear arms,' much of the noun’s use alone echoes Latin phrases: to be under arms (sub armis), the call to arms (ad arma), to follow arms (arma sequi), to take arms (arma capere), to lay down arms (arma ponere). 'Arms' is a profession that one brother chooses as another chooses law or the church. An issue undergoes the arbitrament of arms. In the singular, English 'arm' often means a component of military force (the artillery arm, the cavalry arm)
    [...]
    2. To keep. Gun advocates read 'to keep and bear' disjunctively, and think the verbs refer to entirely separate activities. 'Keep,' for them, means 'possess personally at home'— a lot to load into one word. To support this entirely fanciful construction, they have to neglect the vast literature on militias. It is precisely in that literature that to-keep-and-bear is a description of one connected process. To understand what 'keep' means in a military context, we must recognize how the description of a local militia’s function was always read in contrast to the role of a standing army. Armies, in the ideology of the time, should not be allowed to keep their equipment in readiness." [...]
    In America, the Articles of Confederation required that "every state shall always keep up a well regulated and disciplined militia sufficiently armed and accoutred shall provide and constantly ready for use, in public stores, number of field pieces and tents, a proper quantity of arms, ammunition and equipage" (equipage being etymological sense of arma). Thus is as erroneous to suppose that "keep" means, of itself, "keep at home" as to think that "arms" means only guns. Patrick Henry tells us, the militia's arms include "regimentals, etc."˜ flags, ensigns, engineering tools, siege apparatus, and other "accoutrements of war.
    Some arms could be kept at home, course. Some officers kept their most valuable piece of war equipment, a good cross-country horse, at home, where its upkeep was a daily matter feeding and physical regimen. But military guns were not ideally kept home. When militias were armed, it was, so far as possible, with guns standard issue, interchangeable parts, uniform in their shot, upkeep and performance— the kind of "firelocks" Trenchard wanted kept "in every parish" (not every home)[.]"
    To Keep and Bear Arms, Garry Wills

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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    Quote Originally Posted by aberrant85 View Post
    In other words the intended meaning of the constitution is technically not as relevant as the most recent interpretation of its meaning. Yes, I think that's true. I think in general the idea of constitutionality is an eternal tug-of-war with what the founders intenders and what we believe they would have intended if they were alive today.
    Right. This is broadly true of all texts. The intended meaning of the author is not nearly as important as the received meaning as interpreted by the audience. The Supreme Court puts a "gloss" on the Constitution with its opinions, such that the original intent becomes meaningless. The latest layer of the gloss is what the law actually is.

    This is true of, for example, the first amendment. "Speech" originally only protected political speech. But after generations of changing social norms and developing Supreme Court caselaw, the first amendment came to protect much more than just political speech.

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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    "Well-regulated militia" means more or less the same thing as it does today, as does "the security of a free State." Neither of these are identical to their contemporary meanings as you pointed out, but they are close enough that we are able to understand. "Keep and bear arms," however, had a very different meaning then than it does today, which is well-known to historians but lost on the modern reader. You might recognize "arma" from the opening line of Vergil's Aeneid. The framers certainly did. This phrase "to bear arms" is a calque from the Latin, in fact, as were many phrases from English common law. See the quote below, written by a distinguished history professor, for an illuminating discussion of what "keep and bear arms" actually meant to the framers:

    1. Bear Arms. "To bear arms is, in itself, a military term. One does not bear arms against a rabbit. The phrase simply translates the Latin arma ferre. The infinitive ferre, to bear, comes from the verb fero. The plural noun arma explains the plural usage in English ('arms'). One does not 'bear arm.' Latin arma is, etymologically, war 'equipment,' and it has no singular forms. By legal and other channels, arma ferre entered deeply into the European language of war. To bear arms is such a synonym for waging war that Shakespeare can call a just war 'just-borne arms' and a civil war 'self-borne arms.' Even outside the phrase 'bear arms,' much of the noun’s use alone echoes Latin phrases: to be under arms (sub armis), the call to arms (ad arma), to follow arms (arma sequi), to take arms (arma capere), to lay down arms (arma ponere). 'Arms' is a profession that one brother chooses as another chooses law or the church. An issue undergoes the arbitrament of arms. In the singular, English 'arm' often means a component of military force (the artillery arm, the cavalry arm)
    [...]
    2. To keep. Gun advocates read 'to keep and bear' disjunctively, and think the verbs refer to entirely separate activities. 'Keep,' for them, means 'possess personally at home'— a lot to load into one word. To support this entirely fanciful construction, they have to neglect the vast literature on militias. It is precisely in that literature that to-keep-and-bear is a description of one connected process. To understand what 'keep' means in a military context, we must recognize how the description of a local militia’s function was always read in contrast to the role of a standing army. Armies, in the ideology of the time, should not be allowed to keep their equipment in readiness." [...]
    In America, the Articles of Confederation required that "every state shall always keep up a well regulated and disciplined militia sufficiently armed and accoutred shall provide and constantly ready for use, in public stores, number of field pieces and tents, a proper quantity of arms, ammunition and equipage" (equipage being etymological sense of arma). Thus is as erroneous to suppose that "keep" means, of itself, "keep at home" as to think that "arms" means only guns. Patrick Henry tells us, the militia's arms include "regimentals, etc."˜ flags, ensigns, engineering tools, siege apparatus, and other "accoutrements of war.
    Some arms could be kept at home, course. Some officers kept their most valuable piece of war equipment, a good cross-country horse, at home, where its upkeep was a daily matter feeding and physical regimen. But military guns were not ideally kept home. When militias were armed, it was, so far as possible, with guns standard issue, interchangeable parts, uniform in their shot, upkeep and performance— the kind of "firelocks" Trenchard wanted kept "in every parish" (not every home)[.]"
    To Keep and Bear Arms, Garry Wills
    Damn, Guy Incognito! This is what I'm talking about!!

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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    The founders believed that to preserve liberty the people must be free to defend themselves from tyranny. Heck, they just finished proving that the concept worked. They also knew that peace would be fleeting and that in time someone would try to control the nation. The options they saw to defend the nation were a standing army on the one hand and militias made of the general population on the other. They had already limited the power of the federal government to call up armies but the anti-federalists wanted a stronger assurance that the bulk of the military might would always be in the people rather than the government so they drew up the 2nd Amendment specifically to guarantee that no matter what an outside force OR A DOMESTIC ONE did to develop military power the people would, should they choose, be free to take up arms in defense of their liberty.

    To that end, the second amendment means that the people shall be free to keep and bear arms which they find are necessary to preserve their liberty. That includes national defense as well as self defense. It was assumed that most people would keep small arms suitable for self defense but that they might band together to procure more expensive heavy arms to defend against more organized threats.

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