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Subject: The Right to Bear Arms is meaningless rss

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quelf elf
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Ok, so it's an inflammatory title. But this post on another thread about SOPA got me wondering:

Friendless wrote:
Your country has the right to bear arms, when are you guys gonna use it?


People often say rights mean nothing unless you exercise them. Under what conditions, and to what degree would you be willing to exercise your second amendment right to bear arms against the government? I doubt anyone will say because of SOPA (though maybe you would), but lots of people have said that it's a violation of First amendment rights: is that enough of a crime by government to move anyone to armed resistance?

side Q: My BIL suggested the other day that the only amendment to the constitution people would defend with arms is the right to bear those arms. Do you think this is true?
 
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Rich Shipley
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The second amendment is not about taking up arms against the government. It is about allowing people to keep weapons in order to participate in the militia. And the commander in chief of the state militias is the president.
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Moshe Callen
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quelf elf wrote:
Ok, so it's an inflammatory title. But this post on another thread about SOPA got me wondering:

Friendless wrote:
Your country has the right to bear arms, when are you guys gonna use it?


People often say rights mean nothing unless you exercise them. Under what conditions, and to what degree would you be willing to exercise your second amendment right to bear arms against the government? I doubt anyone will say because of SOPA (though maybe you would), but lots of people have said that it's a violation of First amendment rights: is that enough of a crime by government to move anyone to armed resistance?

side Q: My BIL suggested the other day that the only amendment to the constitution people would defend with arms is the right to bear those arms. Do you think this is true?

The Second Amendment was put to the test in 1860-- whether one agrees with the Confederacy's reasons or not. The Confederacy lost and right of the people to oppose the federal gov't was forever stripped.
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Moshe Callen
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rshipley wrote:
The second amendment is not about taking up arms against the government. It is about allowing people to keep weapons in order to participate in the militia. And the commander in chief of the state militias is the president.

On the contrary, that's exactly what it was intended to be. It simply became the rightto own weapons after it was emasculated.

EDIT:
Here is a quote from Wikipedia including a mention of its source:
Quote:

The orthodox view of the meaning of the Second Amendment was articulated by Joseph Story in his influential Commentaries on the Constitution. In his view the meaning of the Amendment was clear:

The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted by any persons, who have duly reflected upon the subject. The militia is the natural defence of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers.

Note the bolded part.
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Rich Shipley
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Someone may have wanted the constitution to say that, but it doesn't.
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Moshe Callen
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rshipley wrote:
Someone may have wanted the constitution to say that, but it doesn't.

You'll note that called the orthodox, i.e., standard, view of the ammendment's intent.
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If worse came to worse, I would probably leave before taking up arms. That said, I would probably take up arms if the government tried to stop me from leaving for someplace better.
 
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rshipley wrote:
Someone may have wanted the constitution to say that, but it doesn't.


Well, the second amendment written in the 18th century, doesn't use the 21st century definition of militia, so it certainly doesn't say what you are falsely claiming it does.
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deterrence_theory
 
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jarredscott78 wrote:


That's
a) a dodge

and

b) a fantasy: the increasing encroachment of constitutional rights shows the government in no way fears the arms-bearing populace, and acts with contempt for them
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William Boykin
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quelf elf wrote:
jarredscott78 wrote:


That's
a) a dodge

and

b) a fantasy: the increasing encroachment of constitutional rights shows the government in no way fears the arms-bearing populace, and acts with contempt for them


All the more reason to not give up significant rights as per gun ownership without due concern for all of our civil liberties.

I don't have to defend the right to bear arms, just as I shouldn't have to defend my right for free speech, or trial by jury. The onus of the argument is not on to people like BJ or Jarred who want to keep their right to own handguns- rather, it is upon those who argue in favor of limitations of an individual's desire to express that right for some societal gain.

I do think that there is room for some forms of gun control in this nation. But I do not, nor ever will, sanction gun gun abolition.

Darilian
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Moshe Callen
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MyTwoCents wrote:
whac3 wrote:
quelf elf wrote:
Ok, so it's an inflammatory title. But this post on another thread about SOPA got me wondering:

Friendless wrote:
Your country has the right to bear arms, when are you guys gonna use it?


People often say rights mean nothing unless you exercise them. Under what conditions, and to what degree would you be willing to exercise your second amendment right to bear arms against the government? I doubt anyone will say because of SOPA (though maybe you would), but lots of people have said that it's a violation of First amendment rights: is that enough of a crime by government to move anyone to armed resistance?

side Q: My BIL suggested the other day that the only amendment to the constitution people would defend with arms is the right to bear those arms. Do you think this is true?

The Second Ammendment was put to the test in 1860-- whether one agrees with the Confederacy's reasns or not. The Confederacy lost and right of the people to opose the federal gov't was forever stripped.


Its a right to oppose, not a right to win. The right was exercised, but those did so lost, badly. Imagine how much worse the defeat would be today, when nowhere near as big a percentage of the country would conceivably be willing to rebel.

Understood but also the ability and indeed the right to rebel has been systematically eliminated ever since that war ended.
 
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Psauberer wrote:
rshipley wrote:
Someone may have wanted the constitution to say that, but it doesn't.


Well, the second amendment written in the 18th century, doesn't use the 21st century definition of militia, so it certainly doesn't say what you are falsely claiming it does.


I was very closely paraphrasing it. Please tell me what was false about what I said. I am certainly using the 18th century version of the militia (there isn't any militia now, not sure what a 21st century definition would even be).
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Moshe Callen
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rshipley wrote:
Psauberer wrote:
rshipley wrote:
Someone may have wanted the constitution to say that, but it doesn't.


Well, the second amendment written in the 18th century, doesn't use the 21st century definition of militia, so it certainly doesn't say what you are falsely claiming it does.


I was very closely paraphrasing it. Please tell me what was false about what I said. I am certainly using the 18th century version of the militia (there isn't any militia now, not sure what a 21st century definition would even be).

Militia was an armed body of citizens comparable to an army of the time albeit not always as well drilled as the true professional soldiers. Militias were the bulk of any army in the field at the time.
 
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whac3 wrote:
Militia was an armed body of citizens comparable to an army of the time albeit not always as well drilled as the true professional soldiers. Militias were the bulk of any army in the field at the time.


I'm pretty well steeped in the history, thanks.
 
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rshipley wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Militia was an armed body of citizens comparable to an army of the time albeit not always as well drilled as the true professional soldiers. Militias were the bulk of any army in the field at the time.


I'm pretty well steeped in the history, thanks.

If so, then you should know this and its implications.
 
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whac3 wrote:
rshipley wrote:
I'm pretty well steeped in the history, thanks.

If so, then you should know this and its implications.


Enough to know that the President is the commander of the millita, which is the stated rationale of the 2nd amendment. People get caught up in the Bill of Rights and forget that the rest of the Constitution exists.
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rshipley wrote:
whac3 wrote:
rshipley wrote:
I'm pretty well steeped in the history, thanks.

If so, then you should know this and its implications.


Enough to know that the President is the commander of the millita, which is the stated rationale of the 2nd amendment. People get caught up in the Bill of Rights and forget that the rest of the Constitution exists.


Commander of the Militias of Several States, along with the Army and Navy of the United States. Article II, Clause 1.
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Moshe Callen
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Dispaminite wrote:
rshipley wrote:
whac3 wrote:
rshipley wrote:
I'm pretty well steeped in the history, thanks.

If so, then you should know this and its implications.


Enough to know that the President is the commander of the millita, which is the stated rationale of the 2nd amendment. People get caught up in the Bill of Rights and forget that the rest of the Constitution exists.


Commander of the Militias of Several States, along with the Army and Navy of the United States. Article II, Clause 1.

Yes which goes to my point above. The military is entirely under federal control even when units are nominally associated with states.
 
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quelf elf wrote:
Ok, so it's an inflammatory title. But this post on another thread about SOPA got me wondering:

Friendless wrote:
Your country has the right to bear arms, when are you guys gonna use it?


People often say rights mean nothing unless you exercise them. Under what conditions, and to what degree would you be willing to exercise your second amendment right to bear arms against the government? I doubt anyone will say because of SOPA (though maybe you would), but lots of people have said that it's a violation of First amendment rights: is that enough of a crime by government to move anyone to armed resistance?

side Q: My BIL suggested the other day that the only amendment to the constitution people would defend with arms is the right to bear those arms. Do you think this is true?


What I find interesting is how many parallels you can draw between SOPA and curtailling firearms. Lack of enforcement of laws already on the books... people trying to create new laws which don't solve anything... just making it harder for those who do things legally to use them...

But oh wait. SOPA isn't designed to kill. Guns are. shake
 
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MyTwoCents wrote:
whac3 wrote:
quelf elf wrote:
Ok, so it's an inflammatory title. But this post on another thread about SOPA got me wondering:

Friendless wrote:
Your country has the right to bear arms, when are you guys gonna use it?


People often say rights mean nothing unless you exercise them. Under what conditions, and to what degree would you be willing to exercise your second amendment right to bear arms against the government? I doubt anyone will say because of SOPA (though maybe you would), but lots of people have said that it's a violation of First amendment rights: is that enough of a crime by government to move anyone to armed resistance?

side Q: My BIL suggested the other day that the only amendment to the constitution people would defend with arms is the right to bear those arms. Do you think this is true?

The Second Ammendment was put to the test in 1860-- whether one agrees with the Confederacy's reasns or not. The Confederacy lost and right of the people to opose the federal gov't was forever stripped.


Its a right to oppose, not a right to win. The right was exercised, but those did so lost, badly. Imagine how much worse the defeat would be today, when nowhere near as big a percentage of the country would conceivably be willing to rebel.


Kind of makes you wonder, what's the point in a right to oppose? If you use it they can still fight back and if you don't have it you can oppose anyways. Seems like a pretty pointless right.
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MyTwoCents wrote:
Its a right to oppose, not a right to win. The right was exercised, but those did so lost, badly. Imagine how much worse the defeat would be today, when nowhere near as big a percentage of the country would conceivably be willing to rebel.


Really?

That's the only difference between then and today that you can think of?

Really?

Not that, perhaps, there is a slight difference in availability and cost of military hardware? Back in the 1860s, it would not be uncommon for a civilian farmer to have as good a weapon as anyone in the military had. I don't know too many civilians, today, with squadrons of A-10s, AH-64s, and the accompanying Mavericks and Hellfires to arm them with...

Any modern armed uprising would be put down with prejudice effectively as soon as it began.

The only way to effectively overthrow a government via military force - and this is PURE speculation if it would work here (I doubt it) - is via overwhelming external-and-contemporary military force acting in support of you. Observe the 'liberation' of Iraqis from Saddam, the overthrow of the Libyan government, etc. In either of those cases, whether the population had rifles and handguns or not would be utterly irrelevant to their success against the local military dictatorships...if there weren't fighter aircraft flying overhead and dropping bombs on the government forces, no change would have occurred.

And THOSE examples in cases where 'the government forces' are third-work corrupt two-bit hacks.

If the US Federal government of the 21st century is able to present a compelling enough case to the military to get buy-in that a domestic occupation is needed, no amount of firearms you can possibly stockpile will be anything but a minor speedbump to them completing their goals.
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XanderF wrote:
I don't know too many civilians, today, with squadrons of A-10s, AH-64s, and the accompanying Mavericks and Hellfires to arm them with...


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Dispaminite wrote:
XanderF wrote:
I don't know too many civilians, today, with squadrons of A-10s, AH-64s, and the accompanying Mavericks and Hellfires to arm them with...


whistle


I think he means actual hardware, not corner-clipped counters.
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Darilian wrote:
quelf elf wrote:
jarredscott78 wrote:


That's
a) a dodge

and

b) a fantasy: the increasing encroachment of constitutional rights shows the government in no way fears the arms-bearing populace, and acts with contempt for them


All the more reason to not give up significant rights as per gun ownership without due concern for all of our civil liberties.

I don't have to defend the right to bear arms, just as I shouldn't have to defend my right for free speech, or trial by jury. The onus of the argument is not on to people like BJ or Jarred who want to keep their right to own handguns- rather, it is upon those who argue in favor of limitations of an individual's desire to express that right for some societal gain.

I do think that there is room for some forms of gun control in this nation. But I do not, nor ever will, sanction gun gun abolition.

Darilian

Nor would I. I have owned guns (though no longer do, because of where I live). I believe in the 2nd amendment's intent, I am just questioning its present day efficacy.

You answered the side question Darilian (thanks, btw), but I am more interested in the central one: where is the tipping point? How many laws will be passed restricting supposedly protected freedoms before you, or the people at large, will think about taking up those arms? If no such tipping point exists, then how meaningful is the 2nd amendment? Others have pointed out the relative firepower of the government vs. the populace and the myth of deterrence: in light of those facts, how truly meaningful is the right to bear arms?
 
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