View Poll Results: Does the original intent still matter when discussing the Constitution?

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  • Yes. We should strictly follow both the letter and spirit of the original intent.

    28 35.90%
  • Yes. We should follow the original principles and then apply them as new issues arise.

    21 26.92%
  • Yes. The original intent of the Constition is important, but other factors must be considered.

    15 19.23%
  • No. The Constitution is a guiding set of principles that we can interrpret to fit our current needs.

    10 12.82%
  • Other

    4 5.13%
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Thread: The Constitution: Does Original Intent Still Matter?

  1. #211
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    Re: The Constitution: Does Original Intent Still Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    I've defined it before on this forum, thus:

    1. Any weapon suitable for use in militia service, specifically a weapon defined as a "small arm", suitable for infantry use as a soldier's personal weapon.
    2. Any other weapon useable for self-defense, sport, or other lawful purposes.

    A weapon capable of "melting a stadium" would probably fall under the headings of support weapons or artillery, if not WMDs, and in any future that I or my kids or grandkids will see would probably not be an infantry small-arm/personal weapon.
    This definition if fairly vague. What is a militia in your definition? The lethality of a soldier has steadily increased through all of human history. Do you believe that will stop now? If not, is there a line with regards to lethality where you would say that it is too lethal of a weapon to sell to the public?

    Apparently the phaser is too abstract of an example for you to consider it. Say instead that we're talking about a hand held machine gun with comprable capabilities to one of those helicopter guns that can tear down a house. Would that be over the line for you? How about a hand held machine gun twice that powerful. Certainly things like that are coming, right? Am I correct that you would support that weapon being made available to the public if it were issued to the soldiers? Even if they invented some weapon 20 times more deadly than that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    The bolded quote is bull.
    Your quotes don't respond to my argument at all. I'm saying most guns used in crimes are either purchased legally or stolen from someone who purchased them legally. Stats about what percentage of guns are used in crime or how effective the current gun control laws are are not relevant to that point.

    Also, the argument for why a militia needs comprable firepower to what a soldier has relies on the assumption that military strength is primarily determined by soldiers rather than bombers, missles, intel, etc. As I posted earlier, that is no longer the case. So, that would render the militia argument irrelevant, no? Or do you have a response to that argument?
    Last edited by teamosil; 10-23-09 at 11:53 PM.

  2. #212
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    Re: The Constitution: Does Original Intent Still Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    This definition if fairly vague. What is a militia in your definition? The lethality of a soldier has steadily increased through all of human history. Do you believe that will stop now? If not, is there a line with regards to lethality where you would say that it is too lethal of a weapon to sell to the public?
    The definition is as precise as you're likely to get, short of a list of specific weapons. The original AWB tried that list... didn't work very well.

    Apparently the phaser is too abstract of an example for you to consider it.
    You may save the snide remarks for someone who will be affected by them. The fact is your example was ludicrously improbable due to energy-density-storage issues, and is a red herring in any discussion about the foreseeable future.

    Say instead that we're talking about a hand held machine gun with comprable capabilities to one of those helicopter guns that can tear down a house. Would that be over the line for you? How about a hand held machine gun twice that powerful. Certainly things like that are coming, right? Am I correct that you would support that weapon being made available to the public if it were issued to the soldiers? Even if they invented some weapon 20 times more deadly than that?
    Again, you exhibit a lack of understanding about firearms in general, and energy issues in particular. "Those helicopter guns that can tear down a house" is difficult for me to decipher... possibly you are referring to the rotary cannon carried by the A-10 Warthog? The one that uses depleted uranium slugs?

    Such a weapon probably could not be made man-portable, or something that could be used as a personal small-arm. The amount of energy that it puts out causes such enormous recoil that the A-10 had to be literally built around the weapon, and built to sustain the tremendous recoil of it. A human being who attempted to hold such a weapon in-hand and fire it would be literally mashed to a pulp by the recoil. To design a weapon capable of projecting that amount of kinetic energy without a similar amount of recoil would violate a variety of laws of physics.

    You continue to damage your own argument by using examples that are not credible. My skepticism is not because of a lack of imagination or abstract thinking capacity, but is instead because I have a grasp of basic physics and extensive knowlege of firearms.

    You are postulating levels of destructive power in handheld weapons that are so improbable as to be in the realm of fantasy any time in the next 50 or 100 years.

    Again, I will point out that this is as preposterous as arguing about the principle of free speech by using telepathy as a counterpoint. There is no telepathy known to exist, and no scientific basis for it.

    There is no scientific basis for an individual infantryman being able to use a 40mm rotary cannon, or some hypothetical "lightweight-version" that puts out the same amount of kinetic energy, as a personal weapon.



    Your quotes don't respond to my argument at all. I'm saying most guns used in crimes are either purchased legally or stolen from someone who purchased them legally. Stats about what percentage of guns are used in crime or how effective the current gun control laws are are not relevant to that point.
    You apparently attempted to assert that guns used in crimes were often legally purchased by the person who committed the crime. I pointed out that this is not so, as DoJ stats show that 99.8% of legally owned guns are never used in a crime. Your dismissal of this fact is specious.


    Also, the argument for why a militia needs comprable firepower to what a soldier has relies on the assumption that military strength is primarily determined by soldiers rather than bombers, missles, intel, etc. As I posted earlier, that is no longer the case. So, that would render the militia argument irrelevant, no? Or do you have a response to that argument?
    General Yamamoto had one: When the Japanese High Command was discussing a possible invasion of the US mainland, General Yamamoto advised against it, saying "There would be a rifleman behind every blade of grass."

    The rifleman is not irrelevant to modern warfare; ultimately, when the bombers and cruise missles have stopped flying, all ground is taken and held by the rifleman. Bombers, missles and so on can be countered to a large degree by 4th Generation Warfare methods. The existence of a citizen militia is a deterrent to tyranny and invasion still. The Afgani Mujahadeen kept the Russian Army in a mess for many years with little more than rifles, a few support weapons, and guerilla tactics.

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  3. #213
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    Re: The Constitution: Does Original Intent Still Matter?

    The Constitution as a concept and it reality is a living thing hence some evolution needs to take place. There are parts of the Constitution such as the Bill of Rights that should stand as is since those rights need to be considered inviolate. I did say that the Constitution as a concept is a living thing hence that is why there is a provision for amendments. If one contends that the Constitution was conceived and written as an absolute perfection and no amendment or addition is ever needed then slavery would still be the law of the land as one example.
    I do not recall the Viet Cong asking me if I was a natural born or Naturalized American before they shot at me, they just shot at all of us f107HyperSabr

  4. #214
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    Re: The Constitution: Does Original Intent Still Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by F107HyperSabr View Post
    The Constitution as a concept and it reality is a living thing hence some evolution needs to take place. There are parts of the Constitution such as the Bill of Rights that should stand as is since those rights need to be considered inviolate. I did say that the Constitution as a concept is a living thing hence that is why there is a provision for amendments. If one contends that the Constitution was conceived and written as an absolute perfection and no amendment or addition is ever needed then slavery would still be the law of the land as one example.
    As long as we're amending the Constitution through the established legal process, rather than just ignoring it or reinterpreting it, I'm okay with that in general...but I agree that the Bill of Rights should remain untouched regardless.

    There's a reason why the amendment process is difficult, a very good and wise reason.

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  5. #215
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    Re: The Constitution: Does Original Intent Still Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    As long as we're amending the Constitution through the established legal process, rather than just ignoring it or reinterpreting it, I'm okay with that in general...but I agree that the Bill of Rights should remain untouched regardless.

    There's a reason why the amendment process is difficult, a very good and wise reason.
    I agree absolutely that the the ammendment process needs to be something that requires a "dificult" task or process. Maybe I would suggest arduous.

    The terms " ignoring[/B]and reinterpreting " are do by nature have subjective nuances. What appears in your mind as ignoring may indeed be compliance or adherence for someone else? Nuances in interpretation are legitimate over a long span of time. Certain aspects ( I will basically exclude the Bill of Rights) of the Constitution which were interpreted one may in 1798 may have a variance in nuance of interpretation in the 21 st century just based upon the fact that society, science, economics, and just life has changed .
    I do not recall the Viet Cong asking me if I was a natural born or Naturalized American before they shot at me, they just shot at all of us f107HyperSabr

  6. #216
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    Re: The Constitution: Does Original Intent Still Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    Ok. Then I'm definitely not on board with your standard for the kinds of weapons that should be allowed. No way is the goal of a citizenry capable of forming an insurgency worth the unlimited downside that comes with having no limit on the destructive force they're allowed to command.
    1: Its not -my- limit
    2: W/O the proper weapons, the militia cannot do its job.

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    Re: The Constitution: Does Original Intent Still Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    This definition if fairly vague. What is a militia in your definition? The lethality of a soldier has steadily increased through all of human history. Do you believe that will stop now? If not, is there a line with regards to lethality where you would say that it is too lethal of a weapon to sell to the public?
    What do YOU see as the limit, and how does that limit jive with established precedent?

  8. #218
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    Re: The Constitution: Does Original Intent Still Matter?

    Can anyone provide a sources to the 'original' intent behind the constitution by the signatories of the constitution?
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    Re: The Constitution: Does Original Intent Still Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    Can anyone provide a sources to the 'original' intent behind the constitution by the signatories of the constitution?
    Start here:
    The Federalist Papers - THOMAS (Library of Congress)
    WEPIN Store - Index to Anti-Federalist Papers

  10. #220
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    Re: The Constitution: Does Original Intent Still Matter?

    You proved his point well. Since the Federalist Papers and the Anti-Federalist Papers are often at odds with one another, how can you possibly determine the "original intent" as though everyone who signed the Constitution was part of a hive mind?

    And what about the people who wrote neither the Federalist Papers or the Anti-Federalist Papers?
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