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

Voters
51. You may not vote on this poll
  • 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. #21
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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    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.
    Yes, I think that's mostly the intent too. It makes sense that an 18th century country could get by in a war by having each soldier bring their weapon. But as for ships and cannons, they must have known that they'd have to have a standing army to maintain those, so there must have been some push and pull in the concept of keeping the bulk of the army at home. Now, of course, there are $1 Billion aircraft, ICBMs, aircraft carriers, and nuclear subs in modern warfare. Obviously the bulk of our military is no longer in the soldier's home, so does that defeat the intent of the 2nd amendment?

  2. #22
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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?
    Just going by what it says (the letter of the law) is not enough. You must also go by the Spirit of the Law. Which was to have the citizenry as well armed as the governments active military. Which means the Citizens should be allowed to have anything that is commonly used by the active military.
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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    The country was brand new and had just won a guerrilla war against a repressive colonial government 3000 miles away. There was no guaranteeing that they would not come back to take over again...or that the French might decide that since they helped us beat the Brits that they could to take colonial rule here for them selves. This worried Jefferson and the 1st continental congress, so they wrote this amendment to keep all young men ready and armed in the event of just such an invasion by an overseas army.
    The 2nd amendment is A SINGLE SENTENCE about the need for a WELL REGULATED militia ... and, at the time, every armed white male between 18 and 45 years old were the pool to draw those militia-men from, so they all needed to have their own guns to be at the ready to join a militia. In fact that group were the militia, self-armed and just waiting to be called It was sort of the first idea for an emergency military draft.
    The gun nuts in this country believe that gives them the right to own every thing and anything that goes bang and can kill. Bad reading of an old idea whose time has passed.
    I voted that it gives them the right to own and bear a single shot, muzzle-loading musket with black powder.
    The idea of a militia drawn at a moments notice from armed citizenry is antiquated, out-dated and plain obsolete. The idea has been supplanted by well organized, local, militia type, armed services like the National Guard. But now they supply the guns.
    If these modern gun nuts want to take this amendment so literally I like the idea of limiting them to the type of "arms" Jefferson was literally writing about at the time.
    You want literal ...we give you gun coo-coos literal.
    Every single one of them, with musket at the ready, can and will be called into service at a moments notice to serve, in a well regulated way, at the governments pleasure, where ever and whenever it thinks they are needed. I would like that. Non-whites and women and men over 45 or under 18 would, of course, be exempt because we are taking the amendment literally as it was written and intended 240 years ago.
    The third amendment is equally arcane and obsolete and has never been updated or edited either... but nobody is building personal arsenals around a bad interpretation of that outdated obsolete amendment.
    That's the jist of it. It is an antiquated amendment, necessary at the time, about the need to form a militia to fend off an invading army and the last phrase in this single sentence is only about the means to do so.
    Last edited by Buck Ewer; 09-14-13 at 03:18 AM.

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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    One shouldn't get too caught up in dictionary definitions, they are often very different from legal ones.

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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.
    It was not expanded. It always meant that. Otherwise the ones in charge back then would have made laws banning ordinary citizens from having guns. But they didn't want that because the very reason that the Brittish had such a hard time was due to the fact that the citizens were armed. They saw the value of the citizenry being armed against what they considered a tyrannical government trying to control them. In order to prevent such a tyrannical government from happening they well recognized the fact that an armed citizenry was the best way to prevent it.
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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    Quote Originally Posted by aberrant85 View Post
    yes, i think that's mostly the intent too. It makes sense that an 18th century country could get by in a war by having each soldier bring their weapon. But as for ships and cannons, they must have known that they'd have to have a standing army to maintain those, so there must have been some push and pull in the concept of keeping the bulk of the army at home. Now, of course, there are $1 billion aircraft, icbms, aircraft carriers, and nuclear subs in modern warfare. Obviously the bulk of our military is no longer in the soldier's home, so does that defeat the intent of the 2nd amendment?
    yes..

  7. #27
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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    Quote Originally Posted by aberrant85 View Post
    Yes, I think that's mostly the intent too. It makes sense that an 18th century country could get by in a war by having each soldier bring their weapon. But as for ships and cannons, they must have known that they'd have to have a standing army to maintain those, so there must have been some push and pull in the concept of keeping the bulk of the army at home. Now, of course, there are $1 Billion aircraft, ICBMs, aircraft carriers, and nuclear subs in modern warfare. Obviously the bulk of our military is no longer in the soldier's home, so does that defeat the intent of the 2nd amendment?
    Not at all.

    The standing army began as a function of national defense and simple practicality. Having the New York militia head out to Kansas to protect against indian assaults on those towns was a fine idea until the New Yorkers got tired and decided they should head back home to tend their crops and families. It was simply more convenient to recruit a regular army for such purposes. As the nation grew so, out of necessity, did the military. However, it was still understood that the people MUST retain the right to arms as the military couldn't be everywhere at once. The Civil War reinforced the need for such liberty and should be a lesson to us all as to why that right is so important.

    Today we are entering a phase in this country where the rift between those who wish for a top down government and those who desire a bottom up government is is growing ever wider and it's possible that we will see another civil war. If we, the people, give up our right to defend and define our own liberty then we will be at the mercy of those who choose to define liberty for us.

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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    Not at all.

    The standing army began as a function of national defense and simple practicality. Having the New York militia head out to Kansas to protect against indian assaults on those towns was a fine idea until the New Yorkers got tired and decided they should head back home to tend their crops and families. It was simply more convenient to recruit a regular army for such purposes. As the nation grew so, out of necessity, did the military. However, it was still understood that the people MUST retain the right to arms as the military couldn't be everywhere at once. The Civil War reinforced the need for such liberty and should be a lesson to us all as to why that right is so important.

    Today we are entering a phase in this country where the rift between those who wish for a top down government and those who desire a bottom up government is is growing ever wider and it's possible that we will see another civil war. If we, the people, give up our right to defend and define our own liberty then we will be at the mercy of those who choose to define liberty for us.
    Yeah, but for all our differences I don't think we're heading towards civil war. Before the Civil War congressmen would beat each other up at the capital. Today the parties choose to create gridlock so as not to pass the other party's agenda. Gridlock is very different than open hostility, much more passive resistance than aggressive violence. We're not gonna kill each other, but we might not get anything done for a while.

  9. #29
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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    stated by South Carolina representative Mr. Scott, during the congressional debate on the Bill of Rights...Aug 1789

    "This would lead to the violation of another article in the constitution, which secures to the people the right of keeping arms, and in this case recourse must be had to a standing army."

    Amendment II: House of Representatives, Amendments to the Constitution

    2nd amendment
    The prohibition is general. No clause in the Constitution could by any rule of construction be conceived to give to congress a power to disarm the people. Such a flagitious [*criminal] attempt could only be made under some general pretence by a state legislature. But if in any blind pursuit of inordinate power, either should attempt it, this amendment may be appealed to as a restraint on both.---William Rawle, , who in 1791 was appointed as United States district attorney in Pennsylvania by G. Washington

    Amendment II: William Rawle, A View of the Constitution of the United States 125--26 1829 (2d ed.)

    *added

    That the said Constitution shall never be 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

    No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
    --- Thomas Jefferson, proposal Virginia Constitution, June 1776, 1 T. Jefferson Papers, 334
    Last edited by Master PO; 09-14-13 at 03:53 AM.

  10. #30
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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kal'Stang View Post
    It was not expanded. It always meant that. Otherwise the ones in charge back then would have made laws banning ordinary citizens from having guns.
    No, you don't understand. For one thing, you are employing a logical fallacy known as "non sequitur." For another thing, you don't seem to get the fact that the second amendment was originally only meant to restrict the federal government. It didn't limit the states whatsoever.

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