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Letters: A well-regulated Militia

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  • Ben H Clearfield, UT
    April 13, 2013 7:08 a.m.

    The 2nd Amendment also says, "the right to keep an bear arms shall not be infringed." This indicates that the authors of the Bill of Rights recognized that the right to keep and bear arms was not really theirs to give. They simply recognized that it exists.

  • Anti Bush-Obama Washington, DC
    April 11, 2013 11:39 a.m.

    Ali'ikai 'A'amakualenalena

    "Wow!! This is really weird. Next thing you'll be telling me is that the Reptoids control our government and the Illuminati are about to finally establish world dominance. It boggles the mind."

    You have been listening to the mass media propoganda machine way too much. They hate critical thinking so of course they will put these ridiculous labels on people who hate the two party regime.

    "One can only wonder if those expressing such paranoid-psychotic thinking can be entrusted to handle a gun "

    This is exactly the type of rhetoric that fuels their fears. Me myself. I own a pretty crummy gun. So if they really want to come get me and put me to death in a fema camp, I will let them, it will just make me a maurder which is my ultimate desire.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    April 11, 2013 8:55 a.m.

    To "UtahBlueDevil" actually, you are wrong. Just look at the areas that have the gun problems. How many of the recent mass murders occured in areas where gun regulations prevented people from legally carrying guns in those areas.

    Now, look at Utah. We have the fewest gun regulations in the US, yet have few problems. Why is it that with few rules we have few problems? Liberal logic can't explain that.

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    April 10, 2013 9:57 p.m.

    LDS Liberal;
    The opinions expressed by a few posters do not in any way reflect the views of the "repubs". They are entitled to their own opinions, they do not have to agree with yours and they certainly aren't the views of any one political party. Many of all parties agree and disagree with them and with you. Again, the hyperbole gets trotted out whenever the topic comes up and flies thick and fast. Those who are against what they view as an infringement on the 2nd Amendment are not doing so to celebrate the deaths at Sandy Hook, contrary to the hyperbole. They want common-sense laws that will actually do something, not just give some the feeling that they did something. Common-sense and Congress have been on opposite sides of the fence for some time now, and all the accusations and exaggerations don't help.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    April 10, 2013 9:00 p.m.

    "You ilk instills fear of guns continually, stop infringing the Constitution."

    1) calling someone or group an "ilk" really doesn't do you as much good as you think.

    2) having opposing views, nor instilling "fear", infringes on anyones constitutional rights. If instilling fear was anti constitutional, a good deal of talk radio would be deemed anti - constitution.

    Redshirt, in many parts, you are completely correct. But the idea that having unregulated arms and weapons sells in this country would lead to a more stable environment is purely folly. And at the end of the day, even the most well armed militia or wane-be cowboys are no competition for a modern army. Anyone who thinks an AR-15 can compete with modern weaponry.... they are fooling themselves.

    Lets face it... people like assault weapons because they are cool. Not because they seriously think they can take out a drone or heavy armor. At best, the can be used to terrorize local law enforcement by drug dealers.. and that is it. They are "cool" weapons for people who envision themselves modern Rambos.

    Nothing wrong with that.... But lets not pretend it's more than that.

    Zombie apocalypse.... now thats different.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    April 10, 2013 8:51 p.m.

    Jack
    Aurora, CO
    Once again, the hyperbole is flying thick and fast. No, the "repubs" are NOT advocating possessing of any weapon by anyone. No, the "repubs" are not against any regulation prohibiting felons and the mentally ill from possessing weapons.

    ==========

    You obviously haven't been reading the posts by self-proclaimed Constitutional Scholars like: Mike Richards, J Thompson, RedShirt, cjb, L White, Mountanman, Banderson, ect.

    Because that is PRECISELY the stance they are taking....

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    April 10, 2013 8:07 p.m.

    Once again, the hyperbole is flying thick and fast. No, the "repubs" are NOT advocating possessing of any weapon by anyone. No, the "repubs" are not against any regulation prohibiting felons and the mentally ill from possessing weapons. No, bazookas are not commonly used, they haven't been since WWII. F-16s are available, but the ordnance is strictly regulated by the Feds.

    So, care to use some cogent arguments now that the air has been cleared?

  • statman Lehi, UT
    April 10, 2013 6:35 p.m.

    Sorry folks, but the bill of rights are individual rights, not group rights. individuals have the right to bear arms, and not just as part of a militia. The US supreme court has ruled so twice in the last five years.

  • Mad Hatter Provo, UT
    April 10, 2013 2:38 p.m.

    @Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah 2:03 p.m. April 9, 2013

    Well, when you consider that Justice Thomas doesn't say anything at SCOTUS hearings and literally duplicates in his opinion what Justice Scalia writes in his opinion, I would say that the real breakdown in rulings is 4-4. It appears that Justice Thomas collects a lucrative paycheck while not having to do any work on the court.

    As far as the split one sees, obviously the extreme partisanship of the court is reflective of the nation at this time. However, I will conceed that the members of the court are selected by a partisan administration and approved by a partisan senate. So what do you expect?

    And since very few people view the Constitution as you apparently do (and more people are taking positions antithetical to yours with each passing year), it may be that with a future Clinton administration, future rulings will be 8-2.

    The problem with conservative "interpretations" of the Constitution is that those supposedly studying the Constitution are told what to believe rather than have non-partisan, unobjective analysis. But having a rational approach to study doesn't give the "answers" conservatives want.

  • Ajax Mapleton, UT
    April 10, 2013 11:32 a.m.

    Reason and good sense notwithstanding, probably most fundamental to the gun controversy is the irrational fear induced ideology of some that "government" is conspiring against them. What they openly contend are mostly distracting rationalizations. To argue over the particulars of the likes of the 2nd Amendment, safety and freedom when the real issue is deluded thinking is a waste of time recalling the biblical adage of straining at gnats while swallowing camels.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    April 10, 2013 9:36 a.m.

    Since this is a highly emotional topic, lets look to Law Enforcement for their opinion. We should look to the experts who are on the ground and dealing with violence.

    From the Sarasota Herald-Tribune we read "National police survey: most officers oppose gun control, support concealed carry". They have a summary of a poll (and a link to the complete poll results) conducted on current and former police officers. In the opinion of the experts, nearly every single one of the gun control measures will not help and may end up resulting in more problems than they try to solve.

    What they do find is that if we allow more law abiding citizens to carry weapons that fewer deaths would occur at the hands of mentally ill people, and that communities are safer when more people have guns. They also point out that the problem is not the guns, but mentally ill people and laws that prevent them from institutionalizing the mentally ill.

    TO "LDS Liberal" you are wrong. Minesota State Reps. Rory Ellinger and Jill Schupp, along with others there and in Missouri have proposed confiscation laws. You ilk instills fear of guns continually, stop infringing the Constitution.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    April 10, 2013 9:22 a.m.

    RedShirt
    USS Enterprise, UT
    4:35 p.m. April 9, 2013

    But you are just getting distracted by the whole militia clause.
    [That's becasue the militia IS the topic RedShirt]

    You and your ilk forget that the 2nd ammendment also grants the right for US Citizens to own guns.

    [Name ONE of my 'ilk' saying they are coming to get your guns. hint, A: Zero]

    The issue is NOT the militia, the issue is gun ownership. Your ilk continues to express their desire to confiscate guns and are spreading a fear of guns into the general populace.

    [1. The issue IS the militia. again, please stay on Topic.
    2. Who is coming after your guns? the boogieman?
    3. The only ones speading fear about guns are the criminals and mentally ill who use them to kill people, and those who support them.]

    Your ilk is afraid of those that exercise their constitutional right to defend themselves with guns.

    [My 'ilk' is not afraid of your guns anymore than we were afraid of the Taliban and their guns. Why are you so antiAmeerican, AntiGovernment, and froth at the mouth and beg for an armed confrontation with our Military?]

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    April 10, 2013 8:51 a.m.

    @pragmatistferlife – “And, your insistence on broad brushing everyone who doesn't agree with you as "your ilk" is not just getting old but is also a gross misjudment, and error in observation.”

    @ECR – “I can't say I've ever witnessed the arrogance displayed by Mike Richards and J Thompson in their statements above.”

    As a recovering conservative myself, it is difficult to understate just how nutty the far-right has become lately. The hermetically sealed bubble many live in is virtually impenetrable by facts and logic. Their world is a fantasy caricature straight out of Ayn Rand that would rival Star Wars or the Lord of the Rings as an allegory of good vs. evil.

    This would be mostly harmless except for the fact that this “ilk” has become prominent with one political party in this country, and politicians who share their worldview have recently been nominated to high office (e.g., VP in 2008).

    Combine the fear-driven hysteria that inflates this bubble, with folks who often believe they and they alone understand the mind of God, and it all starts to look not so harmless after all.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    April 10, 2013 6:58 a.m.

    I find this discussion almost worthy of an "LOL", or "ROFLOL"..... all of a sudden, all these people who are stick interpretationist.... claim the words written, don't mean what were written. "Regulated" doesn't mean regulated.... it means something completely different.

    Personal interpretation to suite one's own narrative.... seems to not just be for liberals anymore.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    April 10, 2013 5:31 a.m.

    red state pride - just a couple of comments about your assertion at 8:57 pm. First of all, Citizens United did not address "a collective group of people". It fuled in favor of a non human entity, the corporation. And secondly, "the left wing" are not arguing, on this page, that District of Columbia vs. Heller was wrong, but rather, and in contrast to what the "rigth wing" are arguing, they are saying that the narrative language, written by the majority in Heller, still makes it clear that some regualtion on the right to bear arms is Contitutional.

    Mike Richards - That's a really convenient interpretation you've stated there. So tell me, if "only the Court has the authority to declare whether a law passed by Congress and enforced by the President is legal WHEN measured against the Constitution" but "not when measured against the opinion of a judge, even a judge sitting on the Court", then just who is the Court, if not a judge or a group of judges sitting on the Court? How is that determination made if not by those same judges? And once again, they have that power and authority, but you don't.

  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    April 9, 2013 10:49 p.m.

    1) No gun control legislation will restrict actual crime or criminals, because they don't abide by provisions of law; they steal guns and avoid all legal requirements--so only the potential victims are restricted by legislation. 2) We are now approaching an official Federal deficit of nearly $17,000,000,000,000 and routinely run annual deficit spending of over $1,000,000,000,000. Why are we spending our resources on the removal of Constitutional rights? How much more steam is left in this nation before it collapses completely?

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 9, 2013 8:57 p.m.

    Before this discussion is closed out I want to make sure I'm clear on how I should think about Constitutional issues. So according to the folks of the left wing persuasion Citizens United was wrongly decided because the First Amendment right to free speech only applies to the individual and not a collective group of people. And the decision in District of Columbia vs Heller was wrongly decided because the Second Amendment only applies to a collective group of people and not the individual. Clear as mud...

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    April 9, 2013 8:05 p.m.

    Anyone who reads a right to rebellion against the Government into the Second Amendment has to reconcile that argument with Article I, Section 8, Clause 15 ("To provide for calling forth the Militia to ... suppress Insurrections ....")' Article I, Section 8, Clause 16 ("To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia..."); Article III, Section 3 (Treason Clause); and Article IV, Section 4 (Guarantee Clause).

    Shays Rebellion was a major driver in calling for the Constitutional Convention, as the Articles of Confederation prevented the national government from adequately responding to the crisis. Madison criticized the Articles for "want of a guaranty to the states of their constitutions and laws against internal violence." Elsewhere he wrote, "An article should be inserted expressly guaranteeing the tranquility of the states against internal as well as external dangers." The Founders were explicitly building authority to crush rebellion, not giving it teeth.

    Sorry all you would-be revolutionaries fighting an unjust government. You can try to do so if you want, but you cannot do it by virtue of Constitutional authority, notwithstanding whatever you try reading into the Second Amendment.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    April 9, 2013 7:54 p.m.

    Just to clarify. The people devolve their power through the constitution to the named constitutional officers. The people, as a body or as individuals, have no ability to interpret the constitution. That is the role of the courts. The people also have no ability to enforce the law. That is the role of the executive. Finally, the people have no ability to write laws. That role is for congress. The only direct role for the people is to vote for the executive and the congress.

    Yes, “powers not granted to the federal government by the Constitution, nor prohibited to the States, are reserved to the States or the people.” But the above powers have been granted. So they are not reserved either to the states or to the people.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 9, 2013 6:16 p.m.

    ECR,

    You have it backwards. The Supreme Law of the Land is the ruler against which all law is measured. Congress has the authority to legislate new law, not the Supreme Court. The Court has the duty to determine whether laws passed by Congress violate the Constitution.

    Surely you understand the role of each branch of government and you know that only Congress has the authority to write law; that only the President has the authority to enforce law; that only the Court has the authority to declare whether a law passed by Congress and enforced by the President is legal WHEN measured against the Constitution, not when measured against the opinion of a judge, even a judge sitting on the Court. Justice Scalia can read. The words that prohibit Congress from passing legislation infringing our right to keep and bear arms are before him. He has no authority to change those words or to interpret them according to his own conscience. His duty is to uphold the Constitution, not to uphold his opinion.

    The people control the government through the Constitution. The Court is subject to the Constitution.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    April 9, 2013 6:00 p.m.

    Wow, your right to own a gun comes from God and not from the government..I'll bet that's a surprise to all the chiefs of police in the country who are tasked with enforcing gun laws. And, your insistence on broad brushing everyone who doesn't agree with you as "your ilk" is not just getting old but is also a gross misjudment, and error in observation. Case in point no liberals here have suggested we take away all guns, and most liberals with multiple posts have in fact talked about both regulating arms and the pharse uninfringed and how the two pharses are connected not seperate (uninfringed refers to the right/priveledge, not specific weapons).

  • ECR Burke, VA
    April 9, 2013 5:24 p.m.

    I can't say I've ever witnessed the arrogance displayed by Mike Richards and J Thompson in their statements above.

    "Do you actually believe that he is a "super citizen" who received from our Creator the ability to completely change the meaning of words commonly used by the rest of us?"

    "He seems to be arguing that the Supreme Law of the Land is not the supreme law, but that the Constitution is inferior to the opinion of a judge who sits on that court who does not apply the language of that Supreme Law when ruling about our rights."

    Mike - No I don't believe that but apparently you believe that you, and you alone, have been given power from the Creator to interpret the Constitution. Just in case you didn't know, the Constitution gives Justice Scalia and the other Justices the power to interpret what it means. You, on the other hand, have not been granted that power.

    J Thompson - The Supreme Court IS the body that determines the Supreme Law of the Land. That's how the system works and that's what the Founders wanted.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    April 9, 2013 5:17 p.m.

    The 2nd amemdment is easy to understand.

    IT is the left, the liberal the progressive that is throws confusion on it.

    The first part, regulated miltia

    The first indicates this right is for militia purposes,

    self-defense and hunting for food were and are human rights.

    "Well regulated" meant that the people must be armed such that they could form a proper working and functioning militia,

    The second part is even more obvious,

    The right is guaranteed to the people, not militias, not states.

    And this is a right that shall not be infringed (restricted or reduced),

    It could not be any more simple.

    And common sense tells you laws for punishing someone for mis use of a gun, is okay and nd in most cases full rights should to them when they have served thoer punishment, or keeping the guns out the hands of a person who does not have mental faculties to
    handle the gun properly is also okay.

    But none of that is the federal government's business.

    Contrary to liberals, the constitution is not hard to understand.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    April 9, 2013 4:35 p.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" and where did the Minute Men and teh Nauvoo Legion get their weapons?

    But you are just getting distracted by the whole militia clause.

    You and your ilk forget that the 2nd ammendment also grants the right for US Citizens to own guns.

    The issue is NOT the militia, the issue is gun ownership. Your ilk continues to express their desire to confiscate guns and are spreading a fear of guns into the general populace.

    Your ilk is afraid of those that exercise their constitutional right to defend themselves with guns.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    April 9, 2013 4:11 p.m.

    RedShirt
    USS Enterprise, UT
    You forget that the founding fathers, while fighting the Revolutionary War, were equal to " a pick-up truck load of armed rednecks with a cooler." They were untrained farmers fighting for freedom. Why do you hate US history so much that you describe them in a way that makes them look dumb?

    2:44 p.m. April 9, 2013

    ==========

    No, they weren't.

    MOST were Minute Men - and all part of a militia.
    Don't believe me?
    Google: List of United States militia units in the American Revolutionary War
    Militias by the Hundreds.

    They were Minute Men, similar to the Navuoo Legion, many years later.
    WeekEnd Warriors.
    Trained, Drilled, Organized and Disiplined.

    Just like then -
    today we have computer engineers, and grocery store clerks, Mormon Bishops, and college students -- The National Guard flies A-10 Warthogs, KC-135s, F-15s, F-16s ect.
    They are Special Forces, Navy Seals, Civil Engineers, Trnaslators, Communication Experts and Sattellite operators.

    That is the ONLY militia authorized by Congress, and is the only Consitutional militia.

    Sorry - you're out.
    Keep you gun, the Military and Government don't care if you have them.

    We aren't afraid of you.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 9, 2013 3:49 p.m.

    Article II Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, the Commander in Chief clause, states that "[t]he President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States."

    So all of you who want your militia to oppose the government should remember that the President will be your commander in chief.

  • Truthseeker2 SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA
    April 9, 2013 3:51 p.m.

    Shay's Rebellion was key event which impacted the Constitution. Every American ought to educate themselves about this event in U.S. history. But very simply, a rebellion was led by MA citizen Daniel Shay in response to MA state govt actions/inaction. The rebellion shut down courts in MA and tried to attack a federal armory. The U.S. did not have a standing army at the time so the Gov. of MA raised money and recruited volunteers to put down the rebellion.

    It is important to consider times and events surrounding the drafting of the Constitution if one is trying to decipher the meaning of the Constitution.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    April 9, 2013 2:44 p.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" yes there should be common sense, but your ilk is not on the side of common sense. Your ilk is seeking to disarm the public and to create fear of guns, rather than teaching common sense safety for people that want guns.

    You forget that the founding fathers, while fighting the Revolutionary War, were equal to " a pick-up truck load of armed rednecks with a cooler." They were untrained farmers fighting for freedom. Why do you hate US history so much that you describe them in a way that makes them look dumb?

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    April 9, 2013 2:21 p.m.

    Did I misunderstand ECR's argument? He seems to be arguing that the Supreme Law of the Land is not the supreme law, but that the Constitution is inferior to the opinion of a judge who sits on that court who does not apply the language of that Supreme Law when ruling about our rights. Whose rights are being represented by a justice who ignores the Supreme Law of the Land? Our rights? His rights? Some mythical right that he thinks is held by the government independent of the people who limit that government and the authority of government?

    This letter, and most letters, have nothing to do with the purported content of the letter, but they have everything to do with authorizing government to take our rights from us and to allow the government to breach its duty to protect those rights for us and to keep us safe from members of the government who play fast and loose with their (supposed) authority.

    Either the people have the right to limit government, or the government has the right to dictate to us our rights. Which is it?

  • Ajax Mapleton, UT
    April 9, 2013 2:09 p.m.

    Is the NRA really trying to have the Johnny Cash ballad, "Don't take your guns to town" removed from YouTube?

    There is a rumor that the NRA recently purchased the rights to the Beatle's song, "Happiness is a Warm Gun." Wayne LaPierre reportedly said that it was one of his top-five all time favorites.

    I've heard that the NRA is currently attempting to change Psalms 23:4 in the KJV to read, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for my weapon is with me; my assault rifle and high capacity magazine they comfort me."

    Are there no limits to what the NRA will do?

    Note: I dedicate this SPOOF to my right leaning friends whose nonsensical daily ramblings on the 2nd Amendment, whackin criminals and freedom are widely circulated. The difference in their stories is that they actually believe them.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 9, 2013 2:03 p.m.

    ECR,

    There are nine people sitting on the bench who are supposedly the nine most qualified people in America to understand and interrupt the Constitution; yet, on every major case the Court is divided 5:4. If nine people cannot agree 100% on the Constitutionality of major cases, why would anyone accept your argument that Justice Scalia has it right and that both the Constitution and the people has it wrong? Do you actually believe that he is a "super citizen" who received from our Creator the ability to completely change the meaning of words commonly used by the rest of us? If that is the case, then how about Justice Ginsberg telling the whole world that the best Constitution is the South African Constitution? Should she have the right to do away with our Constitution because she prefers another? Would you back her "opinion" that our Constitution is inferior?

    There are nine justices. Mr. Scalia is entitled to his opinion, just like any citizen in America can voice an opinion, but Mr. Scalia cannot change the Constitution because of his personal beliefs.

    "Shall not be infringed" is not an opinion; it is the law.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    April 9, 2013 1:59 p.m.

    RedShirt
    USS Enterprise, UT
    Wow, the liberals have missed out on half of the 2nd ammendment. Nearly all the liberals have made their arguments based on the "Well Regulated Militia" clause, while ignoring the 2nd clause in the 2nd Ammendment which states "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms".

    ============

    Extremeists would only agree if the 2nd Amendment read --
    .."the right of the [adults, mentally sane, and non criminal] people to keep and bear Arms".

    How would that effect you?
    Nothing is being banned.

    The Founding Fathers didn't take the time to spelled everything for the ignorant --
    They expected us to use some God given Common Sense.

    BTW -
    A "militia" is not defined as a pick-up truck load of armed rednecks with a cooler.

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 9, 2013 1:42 p.m.

    It seems odd to me that no one on the American left is calling for a preemptive strike against North Korea. They have essentially declared war on us and they have nuclear weapons. Which is more threatening? A lunatic with a nuclear weapon or a law abiding American citizen owning a semi-automatic rifle?

  • ECR Burke, VA
    April 9, 2013 1:20 p.m.

    So Mike Ricarhds, your interpretation of the Constitution carries more weight than the opinion of Justice Scalia and Supreme Court? Show me where we the people, willingly authorized you to have that power.

  • stuff Provo, UT
    April 9, 2013 1:10 p.m.

    The 2nd amendment exists to guarantee - to the people - that they can maintain a "free state". In order to do this, the people are guaranteed the right to own firearms. We hope the day never comes that we have to form a militia of citizens to defend ourselves from would attack us or try to curtail our freedoms.

    History shows that there's hardly a time that people didn't have to fight to defend their lives and freedoms. Thank goodness for the 2nd amendment and freedom-loving, capable people.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    April 9, 2013 1:13 p.m.

    Wow, the liberals have missed out on half of the 2nd ammendment. Nearly all the liberals have made their arguments based on the "Well Regulated Militia" clause, while ignoring the 2nd clause in the 2nd Ammendment which states "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms".

    There are 2 specific rights listed in the 2nd ammendment, the first deals with maintaining peace, and the other deals with providing people a means to defend themselves. Yes they are similar, but they are not the same.

    Again liberals, why do you want to infringe on my right to bear arms?

  • Ali'ikai 'A'amakualenalena Provo, UT
    April 9, 2013 1:06 p.m.

    Re: Anti Bush-Obama Washington, DC

    "Look for the government to stage another reichstag. They will blow up buildings and blame it on the tea party. They have done it before. They will do anything to mislead the public in order to take away their rights."

    Wow!! This is really weird. Next thing you'll be telling me is that the Reptoids control our government and the Illuminati are about to finally establish world dominance. It boggles the mind.

    One can only wonder if those expressing such paranoid-psychotic thinking can be entrusted to handle a gun while they sit at home fearful a tyrannical government is conspiring to take away their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    Of course, they don't like the democratically-elected government we have today because they didn't vote for it. And anything they don't like is unacceptable and a "threat" to them. No wonder they want to arm themselves. Fear dominants their lives and gives them meaning. There is no place for reasonable discussion since "reasonable", in their mind, is buying into the fear and paranoia they believe in.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    April 9, 2013 1:04 p.m.

    Re: "The people most vehement regarding so-called gun rights want . . . [u]ltimately, . . . to establish a tyranny of their own making."

    Hmmmmm.

    A tyranny, in which people are free to make their own choices without intereference from government? Where people are free from the dictates of laws that take away freedoms? Where people are free to defend themselves, their homes, and their Nation from those desiring to overregulate, overcontrol, and overintrude into their lives.

    Tyranny? "I don’t think that word means what you think it means."

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 9, 2013 12:43 p.m.

    Words mean nothing to some people. "shall not be infringed" is an absolute. It doesn't have "shades". It does not have degrees. Under the law, the government cannot pre-qualify us for gun ownership. Under the law, the government cannot limit our choice of guns, the caliber or capacity of the gun, or of its rate of fire. If the government had that right, the government could show us where, we the people, willingly authorized 75% of the States to amend the Constitution and where, we the people, willingly transferred to the government the right to "infringe" on our absolute right to keep and bear arms (notwithstanding the opinion of one justice who disagrees with the Constitution).

    Irrational people have rejected rational arguments for gun ownership because those arguments do not allow the government to take away our rights. Those who believe that rights come from government and not from God will always argue that government has the right to do whatever it wants. There was a time when the 4th Estate informed us and protected us from power hungry politicians and illogical letter writers. Not anymore.

  • Ali'ikai 'A'amakualenalena Provo, UT
    April 9, 2013 12:41 p.m.

    Re: Anti Bush-Obama Washington, DC

    "Look for the government to stage another reichstag. They will blow up buildings and blame it on the tea party. They have done it before. They will do anything to mislead the public in order to take away their rights."

    Wow!! There in a nutshell is the paranoid-psychosis infecting the-gun nut fringe. Of course, it is understood that such comments emerge when unrealistic fear becomes the pedominant factor in one's thinking. The conspiracy theorists are out in force with this issue.

    Next, they

  • Mad Hatter Provo, UT
    April 9, 2013 12:24 p.m.

    The current debate isn't about the Constitution the 2nd Amendment. That's just the the narrative the NRA and other "gun rights" interests insisst upon to divert the American people from the reall issue.

    It's all about allowing anyone (including criminals and the s)ocially-pathics mentally ill) to have access to any gun, any weapon, they want. Hence, the focus on restricting background checks, opposing studies on gun violence, not cooperating on gun trafficing and straw purchasers, and ridiculous talk about a tyrannical government developing in a democracy with all the restrictions and constraints incorporated in the Constitution.

    All the nonsense about taking away guns is just that: Nonsense! The people most vehement regarding so-called gun rights want the same weaponry as law enforcement and the military so that one day they can rise up when they can't get their way at the ballot box. Ultimately, they want to establish a tyranny of their own making.

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 9, 2013 12:13 p.m.

    This issue has been decided by the Supreme Court in District of Columbia vs Heller. Why would the right to bear arms be included in the Bill of Rights ( which are all individual rights) if it was not intended to be a right of the individual?

  • Brett Seegmiller South Jordan, UT
    April 9, 2013 11:52 a.m.

    What does a militia consist of? Why, it consists of legal citizens of the state of course. A well regulated militia would be hard to acquire if the legal citizens were without arms ready for use and equipped to use said arms. This is how the two points merge. You cannot have a well regulated militia without citizens of the state, and if your citizens are unarmed and ignorant on how to bear firearms, then you cannot have a well regulated militia. Obviously many of the Founding Fathers believed a well regulated militia was important, and they knew that a militia cannot be kept and be well regulated if you have a disarmed populace.

    To say that we are "a paranoid, vigilante-minded people" is completely false and untrue. I'm a gun owner and know many other gun owners, and not one of them is a paranoid or vigilante-minded type of person. To say such a thing is a broad and unfair generalization. We understand that a well-regulated militia is necessary for the security of our free country, and as such, we treasure the right to keep and bear arms.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    April 9, 2013 11:42 a.m.

    Open-minded,
    So everyone who disagrees with you is a nut. Thanks for again pointing out how intolerant and judgmental the left truly is.

    Pramatist,
    Please stop evidencing ignorance. The continental army was NOT comprised of volunteer militiamen. There was no draft, so the decision to serve was voluntary, but once they enlisted, they were a PAID professional army and OBLIGATED to remain through their enlistments – unlike a volunteer militia. In fact, it was only by Washington’s personal appeal and moral authority that he kept the army from revolting because of lack of pay. To claim it was a bunch of militias is total hogwash.

    You claim you didn’t say Washington did not command an army. That is what Eric claimed and you said he was “exactly right”. So please tell me how you can say something is exactly right then say you do not agree with the assertion.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    April 9, 2013 11:33 a.m.

    cjb,no it's not the same. If Utah were hit with a hurricane and you and your neighbors banded together to form a militia to "protect" your property, and you shot and killed someone who you thought was looting a store, what do you think would happen. You would be prosecuted for some form of murder.

    All you folks who think the second amendment authorizes you to form ad hoc militias are really scary. And by the way try running that up legal system to the supreme court and see what happens.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    April 9, 2013 11:16 a.m.

    Re: ". . . how does limiting magazine capacity, and having to pass a background check, prevent you as a law abiding citizen from posessing [sic] firearms?"

    It may or may not, in individual cases. But it totally destroys the RIGHT to keep and bear arms. Therein lies the problem.

    What is protected as an individual right in the Constitution, then becomes a privilege, dependent on the whim of some distant, unaccountable government bureaucrat, who may, or may not, have the interest of American freedom at heart.

    ANYTHING that infringes on that individual right to choose is unconstitutional, unwise, and, because of the disingenuous, incrementalist agenda of liberals and progressives, ultimately unworkable.

  • Ajax Mapleton, UT
    April 9, 2013 11:13 a.m.

    I agree with the writer. Resistance to gun control has nothing to do with the 2nd Amendment, whackin criminals and freedom. Obviously there are deeper issues.

    By and large we believe what we want to believe and find what we look for. Reason and good sense notwithstanding, some simply want to believe that the government is conspiring to enslave us, although I've ever heard what the purpose might be.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    April 9, 2013 11:11 a.m.

    @Anti Bush-Obama
    Washington, DC

    I feel sorry for your neighbors who want to go hunting.

    ======

    A hunter is required to wear a uniform as well.
    Usually it's hunter orange.

    BTW - they must also have a license, and carry proper permits and tags (authorized by the State).
    Those items are usually required to be plainly visable as well.

    Try again.

    BTW - You never did address the real issue being discussed, that being -- the difference between an armed MOB like the one that killed Joseph Smith under the premise of calling themselves a "Militia" [with No Officers, No uniforms, No Authority, No training, No orders] and their defending the Constitional and Freedom of the Press and the 2nd Amednment gun nuts today [also - No Officers, No uniforms, No Authority, No Training, and No Orders].

    Please explain that difference as it applies today...
    For, I see none.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 9, 2013 10:47 a.m.

    re pragmatist

    Any militia unit who obeys the law, (well regulated, well behaved) is under authority of the state. They are submitting themselves to the authority of the state by obeying its (constitutional) laws are they not?

    Keep in mind at the time of the founders, there were many units, or groups of armed men. Not just one militia. Each of these units were a part of the overall force. Some were people militias, some were government militias. As you say sometimes people militias did join with government militias. Other times the people militias would act alone, they were towns people or farmers who would resist the British when 'The British Were Coming'. Remember Paul Revere?

    Today it is no different. We all hope in time of disaster the national guard and police will be there to protect us, but we all know the government can't be every place at once. This is true now it was true then. The founders recognized this in providing for PEOPLE to be able to have guns and forming up into well behaved, law abiding people militias, or units of THE ONE militia or overall force if you prefer.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    April 9, 2013 10:49 a.m.

    @procuradorfiscal – “In other words, the primary meaning of the first clause is that the sacred right of the people, that government cannot legally infringe, is to have access to the military-grade weapons they may be called upon as a militia to use in defending the Constitution.”

    Awesome!

    Pretty sure I have enough to afford a bazooka and maybe even a flame thrower. And if those gold investments (thank you Glenn!) pay off, I’m all over either an M1 Abrams or an F-16.

    Might upset the neighbors, but hey, if those liberty-hating commies don’t like it they can “git out.”

  • Anti Bush-Obama Washington, DC
    April 9, 2013 10:34 a.m.

    LDS liberal/openminded mormon/airnaut/lds treehugger/lds aerospace engineer.

    BTW - Anyone walking around with a gun, without a uniform is a domestic terrorist [someone who inflicts Terror] and I will be calling 9-11. I’ll let the responding officers decide IF they are Constitutional or not.

    I feel sorry for your neighbors who want to go hunting. They will have to deal with the police everytime. You know, if you call the police too much with ridiculous complaints, they will ignore you or fine you.

  • Anti Bush-Obama Washington, DC
    April 9, 2013 10:26 a.m.

    We live in a society of wolves, you do not fight back by creating more sheep.

    Your trying to make me feel guilty about what happened at sandyhook. It's not going to work. I wasn't there and I didn't fire the gun.

    Look for the government to stage another reichstag. They will blow up buildings and blame it on the tea party. They have done it before. They will do anything to mislead the public in order to take away their rights.

  • Anti Bush-Obama Washington, DC
    April 9, 2013 10:21 a.m.

    You guys sound like the renegade robot in the movies who says that people shouldn't be allowed to make their own choices.

    Clips can be reused.

    Guns can be manufactured and so can the Ammo.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    April 9, 2013 10:19 a.m.

    ECR hit the nail on the head. What repubs seem to be advocating is that the 2nd amendment guarantees absolutely no regulation or oversight over weapons. So are repubs really endorsing the erroneous notion that we should all have access to drones, tanks, and nukes? Obviously, regulation is necessary and just common sense. What repubs seem to want is for the USA to become Afghanistan. Either that or they're arguing just for the same or arguing.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    April 9, 2013 10:01 a.m.

    Re: ". . . 'to bear arms' meant, in the 18th century, to serve in the armed forces of your country."

    Liberal blather.

    Blackstone's Commentaries [1765-1769], the most often quoted source of English [and hence, colonial American] law and civil rights -- "everyone is at liberty to keep or carry a gun, if he does not use it for the [unlawful] destruction of game."

    Rule One of Constitutional and statutory interpretation is that laws mean what they say. Disingenuous "progressives" have tried to weasel out of that universally-accepted axiom for years, but ALL knowledgeable, honest commentators have come to the conclusion the Second Amendment really does mean exactly what it says -- the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    April 9, 2013 10:01 a.m.

    My word Lost, here's what I said. "the revolution was staffed with voulnteers who brought their own guns to the fight." We did not have a standing army prior to the revolution. Men volunteered/enlisted to go fight, and many of fighting units were in fact militias as even you said. Many of the militias hired their own generals, some of whom weren't even residents of America. Also I didn't say anywhere that Washington didn't command an army. Your point though is like trying to argue that the group of cows standing around in the field isn't really cows it's a herd. An army would be the collective...and?

    "The SCOTUS says the second amendment means YOU, as an American citizen, may possess firearms! What part of that do you not understand?" And just how does limiting magazine capacity, and having to pass a background check, prevent you as a law abiding citizen from posessing firearms?

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    April 9, 2013 9:50 a.m.

    Re: "I just have one question, what does the first part of the second amendment mean to the pro-gun absolutists? . . . Someone please tell me."

    What it means [as I'm sure you're well aware] is that a militia is not possible without an armed citizenry. And, in order to be well-regulated, that armed citizenry must have access to and experience with the weapons they would be called upon to use if called out as a militia.

    In other words, the primary meaning of the first clause is that the sacred right of the people, that government cannot legally infringe, is to have access to the military-grade weapons they may be called upon as a militia to use in defending the Constitution.

    The regulation mentioned in the Second Amendment does not apply in any way to the right to keep and bear arms.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    April 9, 2013 9:30 a.m.

    Since all the gun-nuts think “they” are the militia….

    Pray tell – what is your Chain of Command?
    What is the MCMJ?
    Who is your Commanding Officer?
    Who authorized or gives the orders?

    In its most basic example – the wild west, a Sheriff swears in Deputies and gives them orders, and when uniforms were not available, issues badges for proper “legal” identification.

    “Mormon” posters, should realize that Joseph and Hyrum Smith were murdered by an UN-authorized and UN-regulated militia – No Chain of Command, No orders, No uniforms – a MOB. That mob considered themselves a "Militia" defending the Constitution [right to a Free press, remember?].

    As Mormons, you should also understand the eternal principles of Line of Authority and Return and Report. We did that in the Military as well.

    BTW - Anyone walking around with a gun, without a uniform is a domestic terrorist [someone who inflicts Terror] and I will be calling 9-11. I’ll let the responding officers decide IF they are Constitutional or not.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    April 9, 2013 9:22 a.m.

    @Mountanman – “The SCOTUS says the second amendment means YOU, as an American citizen, may possess firearms! What part of that do you not understand?”

    And that was never affirmed in a way that completely ignores the “Militia” part in the entire history of the SCOTUS… that is until Scalia’s opinion in Heller. So your statement is true mainly because the number 5 is larger than the number 4.

    But you are correct… it is now the law of the land and as citizens we should obey and have respect for the law.

    I assume you feel the same way about Obamacare…

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    April 9, 2013 9:18 a.m.

    Might I point out -- and the radical right seems to always cherry pick to suit their twisted agenda.....

    Switzerland requires all males to have weapons.

    The dirty little secret (the truth, that the radical right so conviently always leave out) is that Switzerland has a 100% Militiray service requirement,
    and after serving full-time active duty -- all men then placed on lifetime In-Active Reserve --- i.e., Militia.

    And since Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, and Ron Arquette have never served their Country themselves, they would never know that or be willing to tell it to their listeners either.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    April 9, 2013 8:43 a.m.

    Commas placed as punctuation in a sentance are generally meant to separate ideas. The well regulated militia one idea, the right to keep and bear arms is one idea, shall not be infringed is another idea. Read the Federalist Papers folks.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    April 9, 2013 8:42 a.m.

    Eric,

    The British tried to keep the industrial revolution from migrating to the US. I would imagine that (given a less than fully cooperative set of colonials) that extended to firearms manufacturing as well. Why help arm your potentially revolutionary colonies? Note that there were small makers. Just no larger scale manufacturers.

  • rlsintx Plano, TX
    April 9, 2013 8:37 a.m.

    The entire bill of rights was added to protect the citizens against their new government. Period. Read, in that context, things look a little different to a truly objective reader. I own no guns, but have no problem with anyone who does as long as they don't use them to harm others. Oh, and I have been shot by one so I kind of "get it" in that special way which only experience teaches you... "shall not be infringed" trumps the control side people in my view, but then again I'm not the SCOTUS. I'm also in favor of the death penalty for crimes committed with a firearm - all of them. If you abuse the right to bear arms with deadly force, you should soon experience it yourself. And removing firearms from the mentally unstable is just common sense, like not licensing the blind to drive vehicles.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    April 9, 2013 8:34 a.m.

    Eric and Pragmatist,
    I thought you knew US history better than to claim "America had no standing army back then, militias were the closest thing to formal military service we had."

    The Continental Army never existed? What did George Washginton command? It certainly was NOT a band militias. Militias may have provided the initial members, but we certainly DID have and army!

    Washington won more than a battle when he crossed the Delaware into Trenton, he kept his ARMY together when many of the SOLDIERS (not militiamen) were reaching the end of their ENLISTMENTS.

    c'mon guys, we rarely agree, but please stop using untruths to further your positions.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    April 9, 2013 8:28 a.m.

    Twin Lights,
    Well, perhaps, but again, always within the context of formal military service. As for private firearm possession, it's worth noting that 18th century US had no domestic firearms manufacturers. If you wanted to own a musket, you had to buy it from a foreign source. Some people did that, others relied on community armories.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    April 9, 2013 8:18 a.m.

    Excellent point. The extremism about guns is unreasonable and actually dangerous.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 9, 2013 8:17 a.m.

    Absolutely correct. "The SCOTUS says the second amendment means YOU, as an American citizen, may possess firearms!"

    However, do not forget that the SCOTUS has also said that various restrictions are also legal, including,

    WHO - Court said it is ok to deny convicted felons the right to carry a gun.
    WHERE - Courts have said that it is legal to restrict where guns can be carried.
    HOW - Courts have ruled that restrictions on gun sales is allowed
    among other restrictions.

    Many people tout the SCOTUS rulings when they agree but want to ignore the rulings that they dislike. When the SCOTUS rules, it becomes law.

    Those screaming "shall not be infringed" to mean any gun, anywhere are ignoring the LAW set forth by SCOTUS rulings.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    April 9, 2013 8:14 a.m.

    Eric,

    Perhaps a bit too much parsing. The full phrase is "to keep and bear arms". Also, I think "bear" means more than just to join a military group but rather to take them up for use. So, it is to be able to keep (own) and bear (use).

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 9, 2013 8:14 a.m.

    JoeBlow

    Please give an example where the difference between 'well regulated' and 'well behaved' are sufficiently different that 'well behaved' shouldn't be substituted in for well regulated.

    Why do you resist this? The founders clearly wanted militias to be well behaved.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    April 9, 2013 8:13 a.m.

    Mountanman - Thank you for bringing up SCOTUS. They are the ones tasked by the Founders with interpreting the Constitution. I've posted this a dozen times on this page before but it's so important that I can't help myself.

    Justice Scalia, certainly a conservative, wrote this in his majority opinion which turned over the District of Columbia's band on owning guns. But he felt it important to add these words:

    "The Second Amendment right is not a right to keep and carry any weapon in any manner and for any purpose. The Court has upheld gun control legislation including prohibitions on concealed weapons and possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, and laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. The historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons supports the holding in United States v. Miller that the sorts of weapons protected are those in common use at the time."

    This debate is not about banning guns, but regulating them. Justice Scalia has told us that regulations are acceptable.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    April 9, 2013 8:03 a.m.

    Eric Samulesen is exactly right. I've been reading the biography of Alexander Hamilton and guess what the revolution was staffed with voulnteers who brought their own guns to the fight. The nation provided weaponry as best as possible but if the citizens had not only brought their own guns but in addition had not sacraficed their personal silver and lead to melt into bulletts we'd all be singing God save the queen.

    What a scary twist of words and thoughts to say that the second amendment provides for neighborhood militias in addition to an army, navy etc. and the national guards. I think the pharse is "a" well regulated militia, not well regulated "militias".

    Sorry cjb regulated primarily means to bring under the control of law or the constitued authority.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    April 9, 2013 7:50 a.m.

    The SCOTUS says the second amendment means YOU, as an American citizen, may possess firearms! What part of that do you not understand?

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 9, 2013 7:44 a.m.

    "self regulated, but regulated nonetheless."

    We don't need posted speed limits. But I know how fast I can safely drive. = self regulated

    Pitch the DUI laws. I know how much I can drink and still drive safely. = self regulated

    I know that girl was only 12, but she was very mature for her age. = self regulated.

    That chemical is OK to dump in the river. No one drinks that water = self regulated.

    Sorry, but "self regulated" does not necessarily mean "well-behaved"

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 9, 2013 7:44 a.m.

    The Meaning of 'WELL REGULATED'

    Well regulated .. means well behaved. So that the meaning is more clear, you can substitute the words 'well behaved' each time you see the words 'well regulated'.

    Its important to keep in mind, in the 2nd Ammendment it isn't militia members that are given the right to keep and bear arms, it is the people. The founders wanted the people to have access to guns so they could act in defense of themselves, their families, their neighbors and their countrymen when the need arises. And it does arise, government militias (police and the military) can't be everywhere on time when they are needed (remember hurricane Katrina)?, This is why our constitution provides for people militias in addition to the government militias it provides for.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    April 9, 2013 7:35 a.m.

    While we're busy parsing, let me add that 'to bear arms' meant, in the 18th century, to serve in the armed forces of your country. Since America had no standing army back then, militias were the closest thing to formal military service we had. But if you read the literature of the period, there is essentially never an instance where 'to bear arms' means 'to privately own a firearm.' It always means 'to join the army.'

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    April 9, 2013 7:32 a.m.

    What a great reminder that communities would be well served by creating and training a community militia to deal with emergencies and to deter tragedies. The DN just had an article on overcoming complacency regarding potential disasters. With a well regulated militia communities would be better prepared for such things, and loony shooters would choose an alternate, easier target.

    The real solution is an armed citizenry and a local militia everywhere, just like the 2nd amendment says.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    April 9, 2013 7:12 a.m.

    Yes, there is the militia part. But there is also the people part - "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

    One part talks of militia. The other part talks of people. This is why we are still battling this out. It has two parts which (in today's context of military preparedness) are now disjoint.

    So (from how I understand the courts) we can "regulate" but not "infringe". Now there is a delicate dance.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    April 9, 2013 5:54 a.m.

    Lynn,
    In the context of the second amendment, “well regulated” means trained and competent, not restricted. Try substituting “trained and competent” for “well regulated”, then try substituting “restricted” for "well regulated", and see which one makes more sense when talking about the security of a free state.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 9, 2013 1:42 a.m.

    Well regulated means well behaved. A father (for example) who defends his family after a natural disaster from looters or is a militia of one. If he is well behaved, i.e. obeys the law in doing this and acts responsibly in all respects, then he is a well regulated militia of one, (self regulated, but regulated nonetheless.

    Were he to cooperate with neighbors in doing this, he would be part of a neighborhood militia. Assuming they behave properly, they are a well well regulated militia.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 9, 2013 12:58 a.m.

    I just have one question, what does the first part of the second amendment mean to the pro-gun absolutists? It seems that they thinks it is just a little literary flourish which means absolutely nothing. Someone please tell me.