Vote number two for Res Novae. If this were a debate, he/she wins hands down
over Alter Nate.
Alter Nate - As an Iraq war vet turned ACLU-card-carrying lawyer
with a gun collection, I lurk in amusement on gun threads. I
suppose RN can't answer because he's out of posts (and hasn't
created another account unlike you). I'll chime in briefly in response to
your last post. You constitutional originalists want us to examine the
original 18th C. meaning of every word in it. RN provided context for common
law treatment of militias, which you blew off. You can't have it both
ways. We either consider the words as used and understood by a lawyer of the
time, or we do not. You're arguing from silence. Madison would have known
that an armed populace was never understood as pertaining to an individual right
under common law, a view that didn't exist until the NRA began pushing it
in the 70s by sponsoring a slew of lawyers to churn out articles supporting an
individual rights interpretation, one that isn't supported by 18th C.
documentation. Considering your blatant omission in quoting the
amendment's initial language and ignoring it when pointed out, I think
you're getting outgunned (pardon the pun).
@Res NovaeYou cannot divorce the Second Amendment from the rest of
the Bill of Rights and insist that its reference to "the people" means
something different than every other reference surrounding it. (By the way, your
translation of "populus armatus" failed to account for
"armatus." Add the word "armed" to your translated phrase, and
observe how it wrecks your argument.)Your "collective right"
argument is weak to begin with. Consider freedom of assembly. It is an example
of a right which cannot be exercised outside a unified group, but is
nevertheless an individual right. Your supposed militia-only rights would be
open to a similar construction.Notwithstanding Madison's
opposition to Shay's Rebellion, if he had intended that arms be kept and
born only by a militia, he would have said so. What he said instead was "the
right of the people." He said it clearly and repeatedly. The enumeration of
one purpose for a right does not preclude its exercise for other purposes.
@Alter NateAs to your argument that positioning the Second Amendment
within a cluster of other amendments referring to "the people," 18th
century common law referred to the composition of militias as "populous
armatus" or the "great body of the people" and treated it as a
collective because by definition there cannot be a one-person militia. That
collective did not have the right of individual sovereignty because it requires
a unified group, but instead obtained the right to act through a collective
"sovereignty of the people" from the government in control of the
@Alter Nate,You cannot isolate the Second Amendment from the Article
1, Section 8 clauses (all involving militias), not to mention the Treason Clause
and the Guarantee Clause. All of these are empowering the federal government.
The ratification debates did not address an individual right to bear arms, but
centered on whether the militia clauses gave too much power to the federal
government (and the Antifederalists lost).The Madison quotation you
offer is incomplete, leaving out a third clause: "but no person religiously
scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in
person." The whole context of the proposed amendment is clearly military.
The first clause enumerates the right, the second explains the purpose, the
third gives an exception.That you appeal to Madison makes my point.
Madison tried mobilizing a national response to Shay's Rebellion. He was
the prime mover behind the Constitutional Convention precisely because he saw
the weakness of the Articles of Confederation exposed that experience. He was
absolutely concerned with strengthening the power of the national government to
respond to internal rebellions, which is why the Constitution empowers the
federal government to regulate state militias to that effect.
Mike R,If the government is only given power as determined by the
people...Then why when 90% of the people favor a piece of
legislation does the government decide to not pass it?You cannot
argue out of both sides of your mouth...though I don't know why I bother to
post this. You refuse to listen to anything than your own voice anyway.Re: pro(blah)You accuse Kent of "liberal sophistry,"
but deliberately chose to frame his comment out of context and deliberately
chose to misrepresent it. Who's being deceptive now?
@Res NovaeWhen James Madison stood before Congress on June 8, 1789,
and proposed the Bill of Rights, his theme was guaranteeing the "rights of
the people," not empowering the federal government. One of his stated
purposes for the Bill of Rights was that "the abuse of the powers of the
general government may be guarded against in a more secure manner than is now
done."His proposal for what became the Second Amendment was
offered in these words: "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall
not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best
security of a free country...." (Annals of Congress, House of
Representatives, First Congress, 1st Session.)Now read the Bill of
Rights and count the references to "the people", and ask yourself why
one lone amendment empowering the federal government would be placed amongst all
the others enumerating rights of the people. (Speaking of context.)Shay's Rebellion may have informed provisions within the Constitution
itself, but the Bill of Rights is about individual liberties. All of it.
re:Res NovaeThank you. My understanding (and I could be
wrong) of Shay's rebellion was that the federal govt. didn't have a
standing army at the time and so it fell to the state to put down the rebellion
within its borders. Therefore the concern was that the 2nd Amendment provided a
right for states to have a standing militia.
Res NovaeAshburn, VA@Mike Richards,============== Best answer about what a "Militia" really and truely is.Mike Richard's definition is nothing but a bunch of rednecks, with
guns, in the back of a pick-up truck.FYI - At it's most
bare-bones basic wild-wild-west rural level -- A County "Posse" could be
constitutionally defined as a "militia", but then again, they were
duly sworn, legally authorized, and given proper identification.Mike
Richards wants America to be a Theocratic-MOBocrasy. the western equvalant
of a Taliban-controlled-Afghanistan.
@Truthseeker,In other comment threads, I've pointed out
Shay's Rebellion in the context of the Second Amendment and the militia
clauses and how the Constitution should be read with that in mind -- not as
empowering individual rights, but empowering the Federal government to quash
armed insurrections. Unfortunately the Strict Constructionists ignore appeals
to context which conflict with their personal interpretation of the document.
How many know what the gun law is. or what the new law's would be. I
don't It's not a concern to me.
Re:Res Novae, Mike Richards Shays Rebellion provided the backdrop
for the 2nd Amendment.Look it up.
The same constitutional authorities that said affordable health care was
unconstitutional are wrong about gun control. America does not want to be
governed by gun crazies.
@Mike Richards,"What is a "well regulated
militia"?"In colonial/early America, a militia was formally
organized in a township. A militia had an armory where small arms, cannon,
powder, and ammunition were stored. The militia held regular, organized
training. When was the last time you spent a Saturday training with the South
Jordan militia?"A "militia" has nothing to do with the
Federal Government. It is citizen soldiers....Of course, the left would tell us
that Uncle Sam regulates the militia...."Article 1, Section 8,
Clauses 15 of the Constitution - "To provide for calling forth the Militia
to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel
Invasions".Article 1, Section 8, Clause 16 of the Constitution -
"To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for
governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United
States...."The modern descendent of the militia system is the
Army National Guard, organized by individual states but also a component of the
US National Guard, a federal entity, pursuant to the Militia Act of 1903. Now you're part of the 90% you berated for not studying the
@Eric SamuelsenNo, Kent DeForest actually gives the Second Amendment
a more tortured interpretation than I've seen anywhere. I'll ask
again: why does it say "the right of the people," if it was meant only
for the local police force?
Kent DeForest actually got the Second Amendment right. As for Mike Richards,
sure, a militia meant a local or state military unit made up of citizen
soldiers. They weren't necessarily expected to own their own firearms,
because in the 18th century, guns were expensive and not everyone had one; most
weapons were stored in a local armory. But this was an America without a
local police force, without a standing army or the apparatus to form one, with
serious challenges from Native American tribes, and the constant fear of slave
rebellions. So I'll agree with your description of the 18th century
definition of 'militia,' if you'll agree that it's
hopelessly anachronistic and of no relevance to our society today. I would
suggest perhaps that the closest thing we have to a 'militia' is a
local police force. And yes, I'm in favor of arming cops.
What is a "well regulated militia"? It is citizen soldiers, i.e. every
able bodied citizen living in the community who is expected to come to the aid
of that community at a moment's notice. He is expected to have a
"gun" at his disposal. He is expected to be willing to use that
"gun" in defense of his community.A "militia" has
nothing to do with the Federal Government. It is citizen soldiers.Of course, the left would tell us that Uncle Sam regulates the militia, just
as they tell us that the 2nd Amendment is to be understood as a right given to
us by government and that we citizens have to ask permission to keep and bear
arms; that we citizens have to get someone in government to "approve" of
our "right" to keep and bear arms; that we citizens have to wait until
someone in government decides that we are somehow "worthy" to keep and
bear arms.NO government agency has been authorized by the
Constitution to restrict our right to keep and bear arms - regardless of what
90% of the ill-informed think.
@Joe Blow "[R]equiring background checks is constitutional."I'm not arguing any of the technicalities of that. What I'm saying
is that Americans can read the simple language of the Second Amendment and
decide for themselves what it means. We then elect representatives who share
roughly the same understanding.The voters seem to have concluded
that the current restrictions on gun ownership are at about the level where they
want them to be. We just had an opportunity to increase those restrictions, and
the bill didn't pass.VST has it right: the support for greater
restrictions may have been wide, but it was very shallow. It was too shallow to
pass the bill.
Re:VSTTime will tell whether Senator's votes against background
checks will cost them re-election, but most recent polling found there might be
a risk:Fifty-two percent of Arizona voters said they were less
likely to support Sen. Jeff Flake (R) for reelection due to his "no"
vote, while 46 percent of Nevadans said the same of Sen. Dean Heller (R). More
than a third of voters were less likely to back Portman as well as Alaska Sens.
Mark Begich (D) and Murkowski. A previous PPP poll found that Sen. Kelly Ayotte
(R-N.H.) also saw her ratings tumble 15 points, likely due in part to her vote
against background checks.Much of the lost support comes from
independent or moderate voters.
Re: ". . . strictly interpreted, the only reason people can keep and bear
arms is so we can have a well-regulated militia."Tired, liberal
sophistry at its worst!Nothing in the Constitution limits the reason
for the Second Amendment -- or any of the Amendments constituting the Bill of
Rights -- to a single issue.Nothing in the Constitution requires
automatic repeal of any provision because credulous or disingenuous partisans
may believe one or another of its purposes to have been rendered moot.And, most importantly, NOTHING in the Constitution permits intentionally
dishonest interpretation of its clauses, to demand a sense or meaning that is
the exact opposite of its plain, unambiguous language.The operative
words of the Second Amendment are, "the right of the people to keep and bear
arms SHALL NOT be infringed [emphasis supplied]."Those words
simply CANNOT be honestly interpreted to mean, "the right of the people to
keep and bear arms shall [or may] be infringed."Argument to the
contrary is inarguably disingenuous, the tool of cynical liberal sophists,
attempting to sway unsophisticated rubes.
"There isn't a Supreme Court in history which has interpreted the
Second Amendment the way Kent has twisted it. The failure is his."I would agree with you Nate. But, then if we are using (rightly so) Supreme
court interpretations to define law, then one HAS to admit that requiring
background checks is constitutional.As is limiting Where guns can be
carriedAs is WHAT guns can be carried.The Heller ruling can be
absolutely NO clearer that these restrictions ARE constitutional.
@JoeBlowFar East USA, SCBlue Ribbon winning answer on this
thread!Great comment.----------"I have
observed that one can find a survey to support nearly any position on any
dispute."Kathryn was right about that -- Why else would FoxNews
polls keep telling their lemming listeners that Mitt Romney was so way far out
ahead -- when everyone else said he wasn't?
@LDS Liberal "...failed..."There isn't a Supreme Court
in history which has interpreted the Second Amendment the way Kent has twisted
it. The failure is his.
Mike RichardsSouth Jordan, UtahIs it possible that 90% of Americans
have not studied the Constitution? ============ Lesson
#1 from Kent C. DeForrest:"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."You seem to like a strict
interpretation of the Constitution (in Mike's case, the stricter the
better). Okay, strictly interpreted, the only reason people can keep and bear
arms is so we can have a well-regulated militia. We restrict all sorts of
arms--from nuclear warheads on down to hand grenades--to only our well-regulated
militia. Guns fall under this same logic.----i.e., Mike
Richards just failed Constitutional Law.
@Kent C. DeForrestProvo, UTYou seem to like a strict
interpretation of the Constitution (in Mike's case, the stricter the
better). Great arguement .... I expect Mike R. to pull
out the old 'District of Columbia v. Heller' ruling by the US Supremem
Court stating a person has the right to protect themselves....and having a hand
gun is constitutional.But don't ever EVER expect him to support
Roe v. Wade by that very same exact US Supreme Court.
One of the weird quirks is that 80+% in polling support background checks on all
gun purchases but only about 50% support increasing gun regulation. The oddity
there is because roughly 50% of people polled believe that we already require
background checks on all gun purchases but that's not true, since they
aren't required for private sales. What it results in though is that a lot
of people who oppose adding gun control incorrectly believe we already have
background checks for all gun purchases, so they start to believe there's
something sinister (when there isn't) in things like the background check
expansion proposed in the Senate.
Yeah 90% want expanded background checks, But what does the bible say??
@The Real MaverickStraw men don't help your argument either.@RogerIt doesn't say the right of the militia to keep
and bear arms -- it says the right of the people.@Happy ValleyI agree with the entire sentence. I quoted the portion Maverick needed
to hear.The numbers you are throwing around are meaningless. The
poll question was about background checks. As I said above, 90% of Americans are
willing to consider background checks. The proposed legislation had much less
support. Not enough to get it through the Senate.
Gallup is the gold standard in survey science. At least 83% of Americans, at a
95% confidence level, support universal background checks. And that's a
fact, the letter writer notwithstanding. That makes our Congressional
representatives dramatically un-representative.
So according to Mitt 47% deserve no attention because they haven't paid
enough to have a say.and then Mike Say's 90% of Americans are stupid
or just ignorant of his interpretations of the constitution.then Nate says
"No amount of polling will change what the Constitution says:" as he
selects a portion of the sentence that he agrees with.I think the
majority does understand better, than the 1% who think they know better.
Nate and Mike,"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."You seem to like a strict interpretation of
the Constitution (in Mike's case, the stricter the better). Okay, strictly
interpreted, the only reason people can keep and bear arms is so we can have a
well-regulated militia. We restrict all sorts of arms--from nuclear warheads on
down to hand grenades--to only our well-regulated militia. Guns fall under this
same logic.If you want a strict interpretation of the Constitution,
it says nothing about people having any right to own guns so they can hunt,
shoot at targets, protect themselves, or even feed their families. In other
words, government can restrict gun rights in every way possible, except to deny
our well-regulated militia the arms necessary to defend the country.
Is it possible that 90% of Americans have not studied the Constitution? Is it possible that 90% of Americans would give away a guaranteed
"right" so that the government can give them comfort?Is it
possible that 90% of Americans have not studied "Fast and Furious" to
know how the government deals with guns and gangs?Is it possible
that 90% of Americans would prefer that government have the power to decide
which citizen can keep and bear arms and which citizen cannot?Sadly,
the answer to all of those questions is that 90% of Americans have not done due
diligence on this issue.Sadly, to some Americans, freedom is just a
word. They would give their freedom to the government is exchange for empty
@ Nate"No amount of polling will change what the Constitution
says: "[T]he right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be
infringed.""So in other words, anyone and everyone should
have access to any and every weapon ever created? Otherwise, it would be an
"infringement" upon the 2nd amendment, right?Can you yell
"fire" in a movie theater? Can you buy nukes or machine guns at your
local gun store?
KathyYou can find the answer to your question in a matter of seconds
by conducting a search using "gun control polls."Most polls
use a sample size of approx 1000 people. You can also find detail about the
various polls. But even when a Fox News poll asked the question, "Do you
favor or oppose expanding background checks on gun buyers?" 82%
responded they favor expanding background checks. At various times
in other polls 90% of those questioned supported enhanced background checks.
@The Real MaverickNo amount of polling will change what the
Constitution says: "[T]he right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall
not be infringed."Name-calling won't help, either. It only
exposes the weakness of your arguments.
And all the polls that said President Obama was going to beat Romney last
November were "skewed." Some people just have to live in their bubbles,
The vast majority support the proposition that the NRA and minority ran the
filibuster. The vote changed the next elections and many Republicans are
already down in the polls. The President knew that after the next elections, the
backlash will make it a lock to pass reasonable background checks in the future.
the NRA won the battle and lost the war.
There were multiple surveys which showed that Americans agreed in principle with
limited background checks. We were considerably less excited about specific
proposals, including the latest one that died in the Senate.If the
Senate bill had been supported by the people, it would have passed. It
wasn't, and it didn't.
Maybe BHO said it so you know it must be true.
"I keep seeing in the media and from letters to the Deseret News that 90
percent of Americans want more gun control."Kathryn,Worded like that, I would agree with you that the numbers would not be 90%.But, we are talking about background checks.Here are 3
different polls. (KUTV) A new study done by BYU’s Center for
the Study of Elections and Democracy shows Utahns are in favor of background
checks on guns.According to the study, 82% of Utahns favor
background checks on all potential gun buyers. CNN pollDate conducted: 1/14/2011 - 1/16/2011Sample: 1,014 adultsMargin of
error: +/- 3% ptsQuestion - Do you favor or oppose background checks
on potential gun buyers?Favor - 94%Oppose - 6%Pretty strait forward question.The Quinnipiac University Poll, Question - Would you favor or oppose requiring background checks on
people buying guns at gun shows? January 31, 2013 - Quinnipiac
University Poll Finding Near 100% Support For Wider Background Checks For
Gun-Buyers Seems pretty clear to me. Survey after survey with
straitforward questions about background checks.How many more polls
do you want? What polls would you like to use?
According to Gallup, it conducted a survey on January 19 and 20, which found
that "91% of Americans said they personally would vote for a measure
requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales. Gallup asked this
question again in the April 22-25 survey and found a slight decline, to 83%
support." The details about sample size, randomness, etc. can be found on
Gallup's web site.