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. #31
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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    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.
    That is exactly the point. It restricted the federal government from making laws that infringed with the right to bear arms (be it a sword or gun). Which is why they did not make any laws banning ordinary citizens from owning guns. If they did not think it also applied to ordinary citizens but instead it only applied to militia (men aged 17-47) then there would have been laws made to ban anyone else from owning guns.

    The fact that it didn't apply to the States, while true, was only due to the fact that the only way to get it passed was to only apply it to the federal government. The states wanted all the power. That changed however when the courts started applying the BoR's to the States. And it was a good thing that they did to. Otherwise we wouldn't have near the freedoms we have now.
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  2. #32
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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kal'Stang View Post
    That is exactly the point. It restricted the federal government from making laws that infringed with the right to bear arms (be it a sword or gun). Which is why they did not make any laws banning ordinary citizens from owning guns. If they did not think it also applied to ordinary citizens but instead it only applied to militia (men aged 17-47) then there would have been laws made to ban anyone else from owning guns.

    The fact that it didn't apply to the States, while true, was only due to the fact that the only way to get it passed was to only apply it to the federal government. The states wanted all the power. That changed however when the courts started applying the BoR's to the States. And it was a good thing that they did to. Otherwise we wouldn't have near the freedoms we have now.
    No, it restricts the federal government's ability to infringe on the rights of the states to maintain a militia. That's what the phrase keep and bear arms" means, as is clearly articulated in the Garry Wills quote above. So you are applying an anachronistic reading to the second amendment out of ignorance. Simply put, it doesn't mean what you the modern reader think it means. Its meaning must be understood in historical context.

    And there were plenty of laws made to prevent people who weren't in the militia from owning guns. The militia was able bodied white male Protestants. You couldn't count the laws that infringed on the rights of nonwhites to own guns.

  3. #33
    Advisor Willie Orwontee's Avatar
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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?
    The 2nd Amendment has very, very limited action, it only "does" one thing . . .

    It redundantly forbids the federal government* to exercise powers that were never granted to it.

    It never had, nor was it intended to have, nor has it ever been inspected to have, nor has it ever been held to have any action relating to the organization, training, maintenance or deployment of "militia"by either federal or state governments.

    The theories that the 2nd Amendment speaks to militia powers or the right of states to form / control their militia without federal interference is of recent origin in the federal system (1942) and has never had any presence in the federal judiciary, actually deciding conflicts of federal vs state militia powers.

    The people who promote such "militia right" or 'state's right" (or the general 'collective right") theories would force us to accept that the principles of conferred powers and retained rights either never existed or are now defunct (for some unexplained reason they can't articulate in any reasoned legal argument).

    They need to ignore / dismiss those fundamental principles of the US Constitution because their anti-Constitution, leftist political agenda forces them to . . . They need to present the argument that the rights of citizens are dependent upon what the 2nd Amendment says as if it was a permission slip that metes out just the specific degree of gun rights the framers wanted us to have and the conditions under which that "right" can be exercised. Such a statist, authoritarian mindset is the anti-thesis of the rights theory and political principles the founders / framers embraced, believed in and used as the foundation for the Constitution.

    So, in your quest to discover what the 2nd Amendment actually says, the first thing to understand is that the individual citizens do not possess the right to keep and bear arms because of what the 2nd Amendment says . . . We possess the right because of what the body of the Constitution DOESN'T say, as we did not grant the federal government a shred of power to even compose a thought about the personal arms of the private citizen.

    The question then (pertaining to the constitutional legitimacy of gun control) isn't what right can be discerned (interpreted) from the words, construction or punctuation of the 2nd Amendment; the question is what powers have been granted to government to have any interest whatsoever in the personal arms of the private citizen.

    And the answer to that question is . . . . . NONE!

    The 2nd Amendment only serves as a reminder of that fact; redundantly forbidding government to exercise powers never granted to it.



    *Originally, the 2nd Amendment only bound the action of the federal government until 2010 when it was "incorporated" under the 14th Amendment and held to bind state action as well.
    I already have a license to own a gun; it's called a birth certificate.

  4. #34
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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.
    And since the Court first spoke of the right to arms and the 2nd Amendment some 140 years ago, they have never wavered from the fact that the right is not granted, given, created or established by the 2nd (since it was possessed by the people before the Constitution was established and no aspect of the right was surrendered to government via the Constitution) so it is deemed a "pre-existing right' and thus is not in any manner dependent on the Constitution for its existence.



    Supreme Court, 1876: "The right . . . of "bearing arms for a lawful purpose" [that of self-defense from the KKK by ex-slaves citizens in Louisiana] . . . is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. . ."

    Supreme Court, 1886: "the right of the people to keep and bear arms is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. . . "

    Supreme Court, 2008: "it has always been widely understood that the Second Amendment, like the First and Fourth Amendments, codified a pre-existing right. The very text of the Second Amendment implicitly recognizes the pre-existence of the right and declares only that it “shall not be infringed.” As we said in . . . 1876 , “[t]his is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.”



    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    Originally, the second amendment protected a militia-based right.
    No, then as now it protected a right that the people never parted with. This was the prinary argument against ading a bill of rights because it was thought unnecessary and dangerous to say things shall not be done when no power was granted to act against those interests.

    One chokes on the irony when reading your drivel as your argument is precisely what the federalists feared; misconstructing the provision into creating a regulatory power on the right. It would be funny if it weren't so detestably anti-Constitution.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    It has since expanded considerable due to Supreme Court caselaw, and now the second amendment represents a fundamental individual right to own guns.
    All SCOTUS did in Heller was slap the lower federal courts back into the constitutional fold and invalidate the "state's right" and "militia right" perversions inserted into the federal courts in 1942.
    Last edited by Willie Orwontee; 09-15-13 at 04:49 PM.
    I already have a license to own a gun; it's called a birth certificate.

  5. #35
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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?
    It means the government can't cut off people's arms, because it might need them later if a war breaks out. Duh!
    (avatar by Thomas Nast)

  6. #36
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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    James Madison father of the constitution -- We, the delegates of the people of Virginia, duly elected in pursuance of a recommendation from the General Assembly and now met in Convention, having fully and freely investigated and discussed the proceedings of the Federal Convention, and being prepared, as well as the most mature deliberation hath enabled us, to decide thereon--DO, in the name and in behalf of the people of Virginia declare and make known that the powers granted under the Constitution, being derived from the people of the United States, may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression; and that every power not granted thereby remains with them, and at their will. That, therefore, no right of any denomination can be cancelled, abridged, restrained, or modified, by the Congress, by the Senate or House of Representatives, acting in any capacity, by the President, or any department or officer of the United States, except in those instances in which power is given by the Constitution for those purposes; and that, among other essential rights, the liberty of conscience and of the press cannot be cancelled, abridged, restrained, or modified, by any authority of the United States."

  7. #37
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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?
    the bill of rights restricts the actions of the government from interfering with rights that were presumed to exist prior to the creation of the constitution and would remain if the constitution were to be rejected



  8. #38
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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.
    Horse crap. it recognized the natural right of free men to be armed while also indicating that free men should have the same arms as an infantry regular or a member of a well regulated militia which was pretty much the same as an infantry regular



  9. #39
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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    Quote Originally Posted by aberrant85 View Post
    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.
    if you remove the issue from the context of politics, there would be no real dispute.

    the problem is, the left has decided that gun control is a good tactic to harass the right and to pretend that democrats are doing something about crime So democrats and liberals have pretended that the second amendment really doesn't say what it obviously does in order to justify gun control schemes as not being unconstitutional



  10. #40
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    Re: What Does the 2nd Amendment Actually Say?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    No, it restricts the federal government's ability to infringe on the rights of the states to maintain a militia. That's what the phrase keep and bear arms" means, as is clearly articulated in the Garry Wills quote above. So you are applying an anachronistic reading to the second amendment out of ignorance. Simply put, it doesn't mean what you the modern reader think it means. Its meaning must be understood in historical context.

    And there were plenty of laws made to prevent people who weren't in the militia from owning guns. The militia was able bodied white male Protestants. You couldn't count the laws that infringed on the rights of nonwhites to own guns.
    rejected for numerous reasons

    including the fact that none of the documents surrounding the constitutional convention support your views



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