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David Meister
11-07-2007, 02:13 PM
Maybe Its just me but I know firearm ownership is a Right and not a privilage
the Founding Fathers of this Nation set up firearm ownership as a right. Permits tend to make it seem like a privilage... like a drivers license. However In fact it is a right. but tyranical state governments do not want their subjects to know that or even speak up against un constitutional laws.

If you're afraid of criminals with guns I say shoot back you may find out that it works to discourage crime.

bizzilizzit
11-07-2007, 02:26 PM
If you're afraid of criminals with guns I say shoot back you may find out that it works to discourage crime.

Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!

Kevin O'Beirne
11-07-2007, 05:52 PM
Maybe Its just me but I know firearm ownership is a Right and not a privilage
the Founding Fathers of this Nation set up firearm ownership as a right. Permits tend to make it seem like a privilage... like a drivers license. However In fact it is a right. but tyranical state governments do not want their subjects to know that or even speak up against un constitutional laws.

If you're afraid of criminals with guns I say shoot back you may find out that it works to discourage crime.

Sounds like a non-reenacting turn in this discussion.

WoodenNutmeg
11-07-2007, 06:14 PM
Sounds like a non-reenacting turn in this discussion.

Aye.

Bryan O'Keefe, Esquire

David Meister
11-07-2007, 06:25 PM
Actually, I'm talking about costitutional rights. They were violated on many occasion in the war between the states, just as they are systematically violated today. It can be a modern conversation however this conversation does apply to our hobby.

Maybe our government could "See the Light" someday on and change its tyrannical un-constitutional laws but that seemed to go totaly out the window when its President raised an army to invade His own country.

I can see this thread moving to the whine cellar

Just my thoughts

tompritchett
11-07-2007, 10:53 PM
I can see this thread moving to the whine cellar

Just your section of the thread.

bob 125th nysvi
11-08-2007, 12:04 AM
a completely nonsensical approach to both constitutional law and the theory that rights don't change.

I would like to remind you that it was once a "right" to own a slave in this country.

So sir you must make a choice either:

1) Declare that owning slaves is a right that the government had no authority to take away

or

2) Admit that there is no such thing as an immutable right and it can be modified or changed by a legal process to suit the currents desires of the majority of the electorate.

Anything else is just hipocracy because in effect all you are saying is that the rights you agree with are immutable and the ones you don't can be modified.

Pick your poison you lose either way.

WestTN_reb
11-08-2007, 12:57 AM
a completely nonsensical approach to both constitutional law and the theory that rights don't change.

I would like to remind you that it was once a "right" to own a slave in this country.

So sir you must make a choice either:

1) Declare that owning slaves is a right that the government had no authority to take away

or

2) Admit that there is no such thing as an immutable right and it can be modified or changed by a legal process to suit the currents desires of the majority of the electorate.

Anything else is just hipocracy because in effect all you are saying is that the rights you agree with are immutable and the ones you don't can be modified.

Pick your poison you lose either way.
Sir,

Have you ever seen the Constitution? Your logic seems very flawed to me. The right to keep and bear arms is the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. The only time slavery is in there is the 13th Amendment, which guarantees the freedom of slaves.

Being in the Constitution makes both of them Constitutional Law, THE HIGHEST LAW IN THE LAND. The only way to change either one of them is for a 2/3 majority vote of Congress.

Saying that if gun ownership is a right, then slavery should be as well is hypocracy, because slavery was not protected by the supreme governing document of this country, gun ownership IS. Slavery may have been protected by some state laws, but the Constitution and it's amendments supercede all other laws in this country.

tompritchett
11-08-2007, 01:54 AM
Have you ever seen the Constitution? Your logic seems very flawed to me. The right to keep and bear arms is the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. The only time slavery is in there is the 13th Amendment, which guarantees the freedom of slaves.

Actually slavery was in the Constitution in terms of using a fraction of their numbers to calculate a state's representation in the House of Representatives. However, the Constitution did provide a means for its change - the Amendment process. By that process, specifically the 13th Amendment, slavery was then outlawed. As of today, there has been no such amendment of the Constitution regarding the 2nd Amendment although there have been several Supreme Court decisions on the finer points of its application.

sbl
11-08-2007, 07:34 AM
Dave,

I'm not sure if you are mad about Now or Back Then. I'm mad about Now.

hanktrent
11-08-2007, 11:15 AM
because slavery was not protected by the supreme governing document of this country, gun ownership IS.

Sure it was. Right there in the bill of rights: "nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." There was no need to itemize right down to horses, cows, chickens, slaves, etc.

An amendment was necessary to make the owning of slaves illegal before that property could be taken away.

I'm curious. If you (David Meister and others who agree with the original post) don't believe the Supreme Court is the official arbiter of what gun laws are Constitutional and what aren't, either due to corruption, illegal appointment, or whatever, how do you think Constitutional issues should be legally decided? By force of arms? By internet debate?

If you believe the Supreme Court is the official arbiter, then why not appeal a gun-permit case there and prove you're right.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

Pete K
11-08-2007, 01:42 PM
Changes can also be made by a convention of states and the ratification of amendments by a majority vote of the states (2/3 of the states)in national convention, then ratified by convention by 3/4 vote of all states: Article V Constitution of USA

Frenchie
11-08-2007, 05:52 PM
The Constitution grants no rights. The right to keep and bear arms is inherently a natural right and doesn't depend on any document or human dictate.

What Article II of the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment, grants is protection of the right to keep and bear arms by forbidding the government from infringing on it.

If the Second Amendment were repealed you would still have the right to keep and bear arms unless you became a felon or non compos mentis. The protection from government interference would no longer be there, but there are somewhat more than 20,000 regulations, statutes and laws that restrict it now, so it's kind of a moot point.

One of my favorite quotes: "You want to get rid of guns? Fine, do the work, gather the votes, get the Second Amendment repealed, survive the resulting civil war... and you still won't be able to get rid of guns."

Milliron
11-09-2007, 12:29 AM
The Constitution grants no rights. The right to keep and bear arms is inherently a natural right and doesn't depend on any document or human dictate.

What Article II of the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment, grants is protection of the right to keep and bear arms by forbidding the government from infringing on it.

If the Second Amendment were repealed you would still have the right to keep and bear arms unless you became a felon or non compos mentis. The protection from government interference would no longer be there, but there are somewhat more than 20,000 regulations, statutes and laws that restrict it now, so it's kind of a moot point.

One of my favorite quotes: "You want to get rid of guns? Fine, do the work, gather the votes, get the Second Amendment repealed, survive the resulting civil war... and you still won't be able to get rid of guns."

I'm not understanding this. If the "right" to keep and bear arms is a "natural' right that doesn't depend on any document or human dictate, then why is that right denied to felons or the non compos mentis, as you say? Aren't those people denied that right also by human dictate? (or not, which is the truly sad part)

Malingerer
11-09-2007, 10:38 AM
The Constitution grants no rights. The right to keep and bear arms is inherently a natural right and doesn't depend on any document or human dictate.

What Article II of the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment, grants is protection of the right to keep and bear arms by forbidding the government from infringing on it.

If the Second Amendment were repealed you would still have the right to keep and bear arms unless you became a felon or non compos mentis. The protection from government interference would no longer be there, but there are somewhat more than 20,000 regulations, statutes and laws that restrict it now, so it's kind of a moot point.

One of my favorite quotes: "You want to get rid of guns? Fine, do the work, gather the votes, get the Second Amendment repealed, survive the resulting civil war... and you still won't be able to get rid of guns."
At what point during human evolution did gun ownership become a "natural right"? After the chinese (or Robert Bacon, depending on whom you believe)developed gunpowder? Perhaps when the Manchurians developed steel tubes to fire their missels? When the Arabs invented the cannon? So, somewhere in this progression of material developement, God decided that gun ownership should be a "natural right"? How about when first member of Australopithicus afarensis threw the first rock at his dinner or his enemy? I would submit that gun ownership is no more a "natural right" than ipod ownership. They are an artifice and therefore ownership rights are necessarily artificial - not in and of itself a bad thing - but definitely a very human construct. IMHO, there is a constant tension between rights and laws. The first exist for the benifit of the individual while the latter primarily serve the group. I believe that there will be a continued shift away from rights toward more laws as the population continues to soar and we compete for ever dwindling resources - just to avoid anarchy. So, the moral of the story is - if you want to protect your 'rights' as they currently exist, advocate zero population growth.

yankeecav
11-09-2007, 02:58 PM
Gentlemen,

I call your attention to the following contained in the original Constitution.

Article I, Section 9
The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

Article IV, Section 2
No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.

Article V
Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Slavery was most certainly a right protected under the Constitution at the time.

Self-defense would be a natural, or inherent, right but the manner in which you defend yourself may be regulated by the government.

While I believe that gun ownership is a right protected by the US Constitution, and in my case Indiana Constitution, I am not so naive to think that this right cannot be restricted or removed through legislation, regulation and changes to the Constitutions.

Indiana Constitution
Article I, Section 32. The people shall have a right to bear arms, for the defense of themselves and the State.

Life is most certainly a natural right but even it can be denied through due process, ie the death penalty.

I list below an interesting quote on the role of the Supreme Court.

"We are not final because we are infallible, but we are infallible only because we are final."-- Robert H. Jackson, Supreme Court Justice

My personal opinion is that the founders understood that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely and for that reason a well armed populace would not be susceptible to tyranny but could overthrow a corrupt government.

We are the only ones that can forfeit our "rights" to the government through our own apathy and irresponsibility.

Just my 2.

sbl
11-09-2007, 03:13 PM
"My personal opinion is that the founders understood that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely and for that reason a well armed populace would not be susceptible to tyranny but could overthrow a corrupt government."

Right Tom, as a "well regulated militia."

yankeecav
11-09-2007, 03:27 PM
As a proud member of Indiana's Sedentary Militia I call your attention to the following. As to how "well regulated" I am I will leave that for another discussion.

Indiana Constitution
Article 12, Section 1. A militia shall be provided and shall consist of all persons over the age of seventeen (17) years, except those persons who may be exempted by the laws of the United States or of this state. The militia may be divided into active and inactive classes and consist of such military organizations as may be provided by law.

Indiana Code
IC 10-16-6-1
Age of personnel
Sec. 1. Under Article 12, Section 1 of the Constitution of the State of Indiana, the militia consists of all persons who are at least eighteen,18, years of age except those persons who are exempted by the laws of the United States or of Indiana.

IC 10-16-6-2
Classes of militia
Sec. 2. The militia shall be divided into two (2) classes, the sedentary militia and the national guard, as follows:
(1) The sedentary militia consists of all persons subject to bear arms under the Constitution of the State of Indiana who do not belong to the national guard.
(2) The national guard consists of those able-bodied citizens between the proper ages as established by this article who may be enrolled, organized, and mustered into the service of the state as provided in this article. The organized militia of the state constitutes and shall be known as the Indiana national guard.

Thank God I'm a hoosier!

Pvt Schnapps
11-09-2007, 03:42 PM
"I would submit that gun ownership is no more a "natural right" than ipod ownership."

Wish I'd said that.
OK, I admit it -- I probably will. :-)

Rob Weaver
11-09-2007, 04:20 PM
I seem to remember something sttributed to Julius Caesar that went something like: liberty leads to license which in turn leads to loss of liberty. Isn't that the danger of freedom, that it will be abused?

dustyswb
11-09-2007, 04:29 PM
Not sure why folks have an objection to gun registration and licensing? We register our cars. We have to pass a test to get a license to drive them.

I don't have a problem with law abiding citizens who know how to use one safely having a gun. It is the crazies out there that I'm afraid of.

What do you all have to hide??

And I've never gotten an answer to this question on these forums. Who has ever used their privately owned gun to protect themselves or anyone else?????

Just curious

yankeecav
11-09-2007, 06:15 PM
"I don't have a problem with law abiding citizens who know how to use one safely having a gun. It is the crazies out there that I'm afraid of."

I hate to tell you but the "crazies" aren't going to register their weapons so if those are the ones you're afraid of registration won't help. The criminals are already criminals and they really don't mind breaking one more law.

"What do you all have to hide??"

So I am sure that you don't mind the police coming to your house and just walking in without a warrant a looking around or searching your car without a warrant. I mean, what do you have to hide?
It is exactly this type of reasoning that the founding fathers believed to be so scary and took the additional time to write and pass the 4th Amendment to the Constitution.

"And I've never gotten an answer to this question on these forums. Who has ever used their privately owned gun to protect themselves or anyone else?????"

Depending on your definition of protecting yourself, I have. And I know several others that have as well.

bill watson
11-09-2007, 09:20 PM
One supposes a bunch of folks interested in history could at least theoretically transport themselves back to colonial times, carefully look at the context in which the Constitution and Bill of Rights were crafted, and realize private ownership of weapons was the pre-condition upon which the "well regulated militia" would be brought into play. And then ask themselves why they think they can sell, in this day and age, something that is so far removed from our experience that most people can't even imagine it.

The thing a great many of us have forgotten is that back in the 1700s we saw the evolution, here, of citizens who expected that every now and then they'd be called upon to work as a team to take care of trouble -- a riot, a dangerous band of outlaws, marauding indigenous people. No police department. No standing army, in most towns, although if a situation got bad enough, yes, an army might be shipped over, so help was right around the corner, only six months to summon and deploy. Call it assertive mutual self defense or call it militia, the way it worked was, when they rang the bell or blew the horn or sent a runner, you grabbed your weapon and went. For most things, not expected to last long, you used your own weapon.

If the militia were to be put to the field because the king got into a war with another country, you'd probably be "militarized" for that longer-term adventure, outfitted with a military weapon capable of holding a bayonet and making sure everyone had weapons of the same caliber, etc. You know; the stuff in Concord, control of which was deemed so important it started our colonial revolution. Military weapons for serious business.

Absent the context, namely the self-reliance for protection of life and property due to the absence of local enforcement, some of what we're thrashing around with makes little sense, especially today when a lot of folks would not think to pick up a weapon to defend themselves, let along organize with the neighbors to get it done.

The secondary point to all this is that gun ownership served the critical interests of the community as it existed at the time. All the bosh about the founding fathers wanting citizens to have guns in order to keep the central government in fear of a revolt is probably just wishful thinking. They knew perfectly well militia owned with their own weapons were of little consequence in the big scheme of things; they built and fielded a real army when there was real work to be done. Private weapon ownership served a very practical need for local self defense, it served a need beyond the individual, and it needs, really, no additional conceptual underwriting or justification for being in the Bill of Rights. In fact, if you try to find one, you'll find yourself on rocks and shoals.

The question of whether we face the same or similar conditions now is interesting. We do have police to keep order, since the 1800s; as a society we made an effort to delegate the use of lethal force to a few folks, whom we attempt to keep a careful eye on lest they abuse the power we turned over to them, the right to use deadly force to protect the community. Any cop can describe walking a line between authorized use of force and non-authorized use of force.

But the deterrent of a police force is not at the personal bodyguard level; it's kind of "If you break the law, you will face punishment." That might work at some rational level for some folks, but given the disconnect in a lot of criminal minds between cause and effect, it's fair to say we run a pretty good risk of losing life or property at the hands of people who just don't give a flying fandango about consequences. Newspapers are full of such stories.

So now, while a lot of folks advocate self defense at the personal level, and justify gun ownership for that, and can make some kind of logical case for it, given what society has become, what would happen if we assembled as an armed group for mutual self defense in the face of, say, a riot? Heck, we'd be arrested as rioters, and probably even before that happened some accidental discharge would get somebody hurt. And organizing as an armed patrol? The kindest word society uses now for people who deploy lethal force on a group basis is "vigilante." And if you even mentioned anti-government sentiment while patrolling the streets of Clarksville looking for prospective burglars or icky men or the local drug pushing cartel, you'd be rolled up in a very small ball and spend a lot of time talking to Homeland Security, because armed people who want to have an assertive effect on a government are now called terrorists.

Given all that, given that the contexts in which force is deployed have shifted so far from the conditions that led to the Second Amendment, why is it so hard to understand why so many people no longer support it?

Year after year, guys say the same tired things, over and over. And like going to the wrong events, if you keep saying the same things and expecting to change minds, you must be crazy.

I'm just saying. Maybe the thinking ought not be "Why I'm right and you're wrong." Maybe folks ought to think about things like "Why the Second Amendment is still relevant." And take it someplace beyond the safe harbor a lot of folks use, "Well, I hunt." And consider it in terms that make it clear what is on the table: What are the valid reasons today why someone should have unchecked, unregulated access to instantly deployable lethal force?

The Bill of Rights says you have the right to keep and bear arms. The Constitution also says you have the right to vote, but our laws take away that right if you screw up in various ways and show you aren't worthy of exercising the right. And laws impose conditions you have to meet before you can exercise the right. What's the difference between requiring someone to register to vote and requiring someone to register to own a gun? When you get right down to it, the right to vote is the heart and soul of the social contract between we the people and the government; we settle things at the ballot box specifically to avoid the way government frequently changed in Europe, through violence. The right to vote is a lot more important in our scheme of things than the right to bear arms, yet nobody minds registering to vote.

Pennsylvania allows its citizens to carry concealed weapons, but you need a permit. The permit is $17, which is what it costs to administer it. To get it you need to have your picture taken so it can be put on the registration card, and you need two neighbors to sign their names to affidavits saying you're essentially a rational person who can be trusted to carry a loaded weapon at the Shoprite, in church, on the streets, whatever. That strikes me as quite reasonable; I'm sure it strikes a lot of my fellow citizens as nowhere near tight enough. Be that as it may, it doesn't strike me as an infringement on my Second Amendment rights. It strikes me as a reasonable safeguard against abuse of the right.

Your mileage may vary.

David Meister
11-09-2007, 09:40 PM
As the starter of this thread I belive it has lost its spirit

I will say the following and I quote

"When Governments fear the People there is Liberty,
When People fear the government there is Tyranny."

My point is the goverment has gotten out of the control of the people,
gun ownership is just one of many aspects.

Many others include taxes, foreign issues, labor issues, the so called criminal justice system, immigration, and the political system I could go on but I will stop for now.

dustyswb
11-09-2007, 10:07 PM
"I don't have a problem with law abiding citizens who know how to use one safely having a gun. It is the crazies out there that I'm afraid of."

I hate to tell you but the "crazies" aren't going to register their weapons so if those are the ones you're afraid of registration won't help. The criminals are already criminals and they really don't mind breaking one more law.

Agreed, but I don't understand what me having a gun would do to change any of this.




"What do you all have to hide??"

So I am sure that you don't mind the police coming to your house and just walking in without a warrant a looking around or searching your car without a warrant. I mean, what do you have to hide?
It is exactly this type of reasoning that the founding fathers believed to be so scary and took the additional time to write and pass the 4th Amendment to the Constitution.

Again, what does this have to do with owning a registered gun? As Bill so eloquently puts it, the militia was needed at the time of the crafting of the Constitution, not now. Hate to tell ya, but if the governent wants to "oppress" us, owning a gun will not stop them.


"And I've never gotten an answer to this question on these forums. Who has ever used their privately owned gun to protect themselves or anyone else?????"

Depending on your definition of protecting yourself, I have. And I know several others that have as well.

Any specific detail would make your argument better. I believe your definition of protecting yourself would be the important one here, not mine.

And David, there is a whole big world you can live in if this country's way of governing isn't to your liking.

hanktrent
11-09-2007, 11:14 PM
Pennsylvania allows its citizens to carry concealed weapons, but you need a permit. The permit is $17, which is what it costs to administer it. To get it you need to have your picture taken so it can be put on the registration card, and you need two neighbors to sign their names to affidavits saying you're essentially a rational person who can be trusted to carry a loaded weapon at the Shoprite, in church, on the streets, whatever.

While we're whining off-topic here anyway, I wish somebody would explain to me the concept of concealed carry. I don't know about it for guns, but I do know about it for knives.

In most states, you can carry almost any size knife you want, as long as it's in view.

That's how I once wound up in a small town where no one knew an event was happening nearby, dirty and ragged, in nondescript period civilian clothes, shopping with a Bowie knife on my hip. I don't think most people felt my presence made the town seem safer or more peaceful, yet putting the knife away would have been illegal.

I'm guessing it's the same for guns, since it's not called a "pistol" permit, it's a "concealed carry" permit.

It seems to me, that it makes for a more peaceful community not to have people swaggering down the street with weapons on their hips like the wild west, and that if a permit is necessary, it would be to make sure only responsible people who aren't spoiling for a fight can display their guns.

Strangely enough, that's the way it is for knives in New York City. NYC is one of the few places where the law's just the opposite, and you can be arrested if even a pocket knife is visible partially out of your pocket.

So what's the point of making it harder to conceal a weapon than to show it?

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

David Meister
11-10-2007, 01:09 AM
Nobody seems to be getting my point.

Our Government could change for the better. We already have a good foundation ( the US Constitution)
But the house that has been built on that foundation is twisted and distorted . I like my country but I don’t like what it has become and I know it can change. I am a Christian man This country is a hillbillies heartbeat from no longer being a nation under God It pains my heart and upsets my stomach to see what America has become and how it has been led astray not only from the founding fathers intentions But most importantly from God and His Son.

Justin Runyon
11-10-2007, 02:07 AM
For anyone who is interested in this issue, and really understanding what teh 2nd amendment actually grants, I suggest you read the following:

A Well Regulated Militia: The Founding Fathers and the Origins of Gun Rights in America By: Saul Cornell

Pure Genius and Great History right there my friends, and the best part of it is...hold on to your jock straps....if we read the Constitution the way it was intended the gun nuts would be as displeased as the anti-gun nuts.

I'm not going to get into a stupid political rant on the subject on an internet forums, just grab the book. If anyone wants to contact me provately, this is a subject that I have done a fair amount of study on from a Historians perspective.

bill watson
11-10-2007, 09:32 AM
Hank,

Some states equate open display with "brandishing" a weapon, that is, more or less too assertive in making it known you are armed is a provocation in itself.

Other states are more concerned about not knowing you have a weapon, and require you to get a permit to conceal it. From what I've read, a lot of the theories of self defense, if you can call them that, believe it is better to have your source of lethality concealed so that an attacker doesn't in advance know it's there and plan for to neutralize it. Part of me says deterrent is better than effective response, but on the other hand, what's the normal person's reaction at seeing someone walk down the street with a visible weapon? They call the cops.

North Carolina prefers to see weapons and it's ok to have them uncased in a rack in your pickup truck. New Jersey considers that a violation, requiring all weapons in a vehicle to be cased and not ready for instant use. Gets confusing.

There are some odd possible gaps in Pennsylvania law. I definitely don't need a permit for a weapon if I have a hunting license. Whether I need a permit to have a weapon in the absence of a hunting license depends on too many things to figure out. And is that replica .36 Navy Colt I used to haul around to events a firearm or not under Pennsylvania law? For $17 and a trip to the court house I've covered all the bases no matter what I'm doing or what's in my car visible or not. This may be overkill. It is peace of mind.

hanktrent
11-10-2007, 10:40 AM
Nobody seems to be getting my point.

Our Government could change for the better. We already have a good foundation ( the US Constitution)
But the house that has been built on that foundation is twisted and distorted . I like my country but I don’t like what it has become and I know it can change. I am a Christian man This country is a hillbillies heartbeat from no longer being a nation under God It pains my heart and upsets my stomach to see what America has become and how it has been led astray not only from the founding fathers intentions But most importantly from God and His Son.

Well, I thought I was getting your point. The Constitution was no longer interpreted the way you thought it should be. And I agree that according to a literal reading of the constitution, all citizens should be able to own any weapon they choose, from pistols to machine guns to the latest military weaponry, without registration or restriction. But as I asked further up the thread there, what actual steps do you advocate taking, to do something about it? I asked:

I'm curious. If you (David Meister and others who agree with the original post) don't believe the Supreme Court is the official arbiter of what gun laws are Constitutional and what aren't, either due to corruption, illegal appointment, or whatever, how do you think Constitutional issues should be legally decided? By force of arms? By internet debate?

If you believe the Supreme Court is the official arbiter, then why not appeal a gun-permit case there and prove you're right.

Now I'm lost again why universal unrestricted gun rights are so vital to following the teachings of a man who advocated turning the other cheek when attacked, but that's another story.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

hanktrent
11-10-2007, 11:05 AM
Part of me says deterrent is better than effective response, but on the other hand, what's the normal person's reaction at seeing someone walk down the street with a visible weapon? They call the cops.

Exactly. And yet, as long as you're behaving legally otherwise, there's nothing the cops could do (in theory).

According to this site http://www.pafoa.org/open-carry/ it looks like Pennsylvania gun laws are similar to knife laws:


While Pennsylvania has a specific law that requires a License To Carry Firearms for the concealed carry of a firearm, and the carry of firearms in vehicles, the law is silent on the legality of openly carrying a firearm in other situations, making it de-facto legal...

To summarize, open carry is legal in Pennsylvania without a License To Carry Firearms except in "cities of the first class" (Philadelphia) and vehicles where a License To Carry Firearms is required to do so.


The site goes on to say exactly what one would expect--that citizens and police and even gun owners don't like the idea, and while it's theoretically legal, the police may stop and question you and do as much as they can to find a way to bring charges.

Here's something I think people could actually do, right now, to "normalize" the carrying of guns and make the average citizen more comfortable with them. Don't bother with a concealed carry permit. Simply carry your self-defense pistol in a visible hip holster and go about your daily business. If you're acting in a normal non-threatening way and are charged with something, those are cases that I bet would have a better chance of being appealed and won, than doing something like refusing to license your gun based on the second amendment.

Private property owners like stores could still ban guns just like they can refuse service to anyone, but I'm talking about on the sidewalk and on all gun-friendly private property.

When (if) people get used to seeing guns being carried for self-defense in public in non-threatening circumstances, they'll be more apt to pass gun-friendly laws and relax restrictions.

Who's got the guts to do it? I'm only half joking.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

David Meister
11-10-2007, 11:32 AM
I have mixed some of the two most Controversial subjects in this nation. The Lord Jesus Christ and the Right to keep and bear arms. I am sorry I started this long and seemingly endless debate.

The two points I wanted to make are these:

1 People in some states in this union should not have to apply for a gun license (that's how I look at permits) like it's some state granted privilege.
In short to compare. Driving is a privilege (some people look at it as a right but it is not.) thus you have to have a license
Firearm ownership is a right No License. Do I have to have a permit to exercise my other constitutional rights?

2 This nation was founded as a nation under God... day after day it no longer seems to be so.

I will close this post with the following quotes.

"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

sbl
11-10-2007, 02:07 PM
"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here." -
-- Patrick Henry

David, You have to post it all.

reb64
11-10-2007, 02:40 PM
Remember when bubba was in, gun rights/priveldges etc were taken and restricted. The ms. will do the same, or obama hussein is ery ani-gun coming from ill and doesn't slaute etc. If you complain about losing a nation under god and gun rights now then kick out the dems and vote otherwise.

flattop32355
11-10-2007, 03:24 PM
Nobody seems to be getting my point.

Our Government could change for the better. We already have a good foundation ( the US Constitution)
But the house that has been built on that foundation is twisted and distorted . I like my country but I don’t like what it has become and I know it can change. I am a Christian man This country is a hillbillies heartbeat from no longer being a nation under God It pains my heart and upsets my stomach to see what America has become and how it has been led astray not only from the founding fathers intentions But most importantly from God and His Son.

I believe you may be confusing religious issues with secular issues.
The one is based on morales and beliefs; the other on that nebulous "will of the people".

While the two are inarguably intertwined, they are separate entities. Unfortunately, they often get lumped together, quite often by church folk, to the detriment of both.

I'd be willing to bet large sums of money that there are "Christian men", as devoted as you are, who would be opposed to whatever way you would choose to run our government. The reverse is also true. Yet both groups would believe themselves deeply pious.

The "Church", the one made up of us defective humans, has proved itself time and again to be flawed: I need look no further than the Crusades and Salem witch hunts to see that. There's a lot of doing "my" will in God's name in that mix.

Yeah, there's lots about our government I'd like to see changed, as well as a lot of individual people's ways of doing things. I just don't have any guarantees that the way I'd like to see everything done would work out any better than how it works now.

Bad as we are, we're a d*&n sight better than most anywhere else.

David Meister
11-10-2007, 05:44 PM
"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here." -
-- Patrick Henry

David, You have to post it all.

I did not have a proper resource for the full quote

sbl
11-10-2007, 05:48 PM
"Remember when bubba was in, gun rights/priveldges etc were taken and restricted."

Reb,

I actually bought more guns and retained my state pistol permit during that time.

David Meister
11-10-2007, 05:51 PM
I have much more I could say but im a lousy typist

I agree you vote for dems all gun rights will be taken away.

However this thread has gone down a path I do not wish to follow on this forum After all this is a war bewteen the states discussion forum.

jthlmnn
11-10-2007, 10:40 PM
I will close this post with the following quotes.

"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ."


I did not have a proper resource for the full quote

For purposes of clarification.......

"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ! For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here."

This is a highly questionable quote attributed by some to Patrick Henry. Supposedly, it was part of a speech delivered to the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1765. Many doubt the authenticity of the passage for the following reasons:
-There is no primary source documentation of this passage.

-The language (e.g."nation" of Virginia) doesn't make sense in a 1765 setting.

-The sentence regarding "peoples of other faiths" would seem to reference the colonies as a collective, rather than 1765 Virginia in particular.

Using Patrick Henry to determine what the founding principles of the USA were is counter-productive anyway, since Mr. Henry's views on the proper relationship between government and religion were defeated at the Constitutional Convention. For this and other, more political, reasons Henry opposed the ratification of the Constitution.

bob 125th nysvi
11-10-2007, 11:01 PM
Nobody seems to be getting my point.

Our Government could change for the better. We already have a good foundation ( the US Constitution)
But the house that has been built on that foundation is twisted and distorted . I like my country but I don’t like what it has become and I know it can change. I am a Christian man This country is a hillbillies heartbeat from no longer being a nation under God It pains my heart and upsets my stomach to see what America has become and how it has been led astray not only from the founding fathers intentions But most importantly from God and His Son.

What you see as better is not seen as better by others, that is the point of a democractic process to sort out what the majority thinks is best.

And that is the point of our Constitution to prevent the majority from abusing its electorial power over the minority that may disagree.

But the foundation of a peaceful democracy is that we can agree to disagree and have a recoginized peaceful process to implement the changes we feel is necessary. (its called voting folks)

And MOST assuredly the last thing that the founding fathers were willing to endorse was ANY form of theocracy, notice how carefully they didn't mention any SPECIFIC god and there is no where any mention of "his son".

But of all people you should be thankful they didn't take that course, because it allows you to relate to your god in a manner you feel is appropriate without the government telling you you can't.

You wouldn't want that burden imposed on you why would you want to impose it on others.

bob 125th nysvi
11-10-2007, 11:06 PM
Now I'm lost again why universal unrestricted gun rights are so vital to following the teachings of a man who advocated turning the other cheek when attacked, but that's another story.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

when I want to shake your hand. Why is that point so over looked by people who claim to know their religion!

(OK I'll admit there are times I want to slap you too but that is also another story.)

sbl
11-10-2007, 11:33 PM
"However this thread has gone down a path I do not wish to follow on this forum After all this is a war bewteen the states discussion forum."

David, do you think that the respective prewar well regulated militias in the North and South proved that the Second Amendment worked to both fight tyranny and to protect the Federal Government? Were unorganized armed individuals any more than a nuisance as in Baltimore in 1861?

bob 125th nysvi
11-11-2007, 09:58 AM
, do you think that the respective prewar well regulated militias in the North and South proved that the Second Amendment worked to both fight tyranny and to protect the Federal Government? Were unorganized armed individuals any more than a nuisance as in Baltimore in 1861?

but I think the oposite was actually proved because those "well" regulated militias were not able to get the job done in either case (protect the citizens from a tyrannical government or the government from rebellious citizens).

I took vast armies raised and trained in a regular fashion by trained officers to fight the war.

But I do think it was a learning curve the American experiment was on.

First the government had no army because it feared that it would be used to oppress the citizens. Then it found out that it couldn't adequately protect its citizens without a standing professional army that it kept very small, spread out and basically defending the borders. Then it found out that a small military did not protect America's far flung interests.

Reality set in and with it the need for the 'minuteman' citizen-soldier as originally conceived dissappeared.

And thatis the beuaty of the Constitution, it can and does adapt over time.

hanktrent
11-11-2007, 11:18 AM
Hank There Are Just Times when I want to shake your hand...

(OK I'll admit there are times I want to slap you too but that is also another story.)

ROFLOL! I seem to have that effect on people. :D

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

hanktrent
11-11-2007, 11:36 AM
Were unorganized armed individuals any more than a nuisance as in Baltimore in 1861?

Here's a legal case where a man appealed his arrest for carrying a concealed bowie knife, stating he had a second amendment right to bear arms. http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs.cmu.edu/user/wbardwel/public/nfalist/aymette_v_state.txt

The case is from 1840! So this argument has been around a long time, and the points made in the case, as recorded above, discuss in some detail why the right to bear arms should be restricted for the common good--from the point of view of the antebellum era.

A similar appeal prior to 1840 got a concealed-carry law overturned in Kentucky, but the Tennessee law was upheld in this case. I haven't followed the various cases to see if anything went to the U.S. supreme court or what else was going on. But many states still today have the same laws on the books from that period, still restricting Bowie knives by name, a legacy of the long-dead ruffians who were terrorizing our great great great grandparents.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

tompritchett
11-11-2007, 03:59 PM
Using Patrick Henry to determine what the founding principles of the USA were is counter-productive anyway, since Mr. Henry's views on the proper relationship between government and religion were defeated at the Constitutional Convention. For this and other, more political, reasons Henry opposed the ratification of the Constitution.

Interestingly enough one of the more telling reasons for our founders creating the separation of the state and religion was that clergy were arguing, based upon history, that the establishment of a state religion always ended up corrupting the religion as the religious establishment became pre-occupied with the gaining and hoping of secular power at the expense of performing their pasterol and evangelical duties.

jthlmnn
11-12-2007, 12:42 AM
Interestingly enough one of the more telling reasons for our founders creating the separation of the state and religion was that clergy were arguing, based upon history, that the establishment of a state religion always ended up corrupting the religion as the religious establishment became pre-occupied with the gaining and hoping of secular power at the expense of performing their pasterol and evangelical duties.

I would differ with the above only in degree. Some/many clergy certainly did believe and argue as you state. Some others advocated a much more entwined relationship, and have not really given up the argument since then. The push for identifying "Founding Fathers" as Christians (as compared to Deists), thereby furthering the claim that the U.S.A. was founded as a "Christian" nation, goes back to George Washington's presidency. A group of clergy persistently questioned him and prodded him to state his religious beliefs. Washington adroitly sidestepped the question at every turn.

Justin Runyon
11-12-2007, 02:41 AM
Gun ownership being a "natural right" comes from Blackstones Commentaries. To simplify the concept, it is a right granted through the evolution of common law, not decreed by a constitution (ours), or the declaration of rights of 1689 (England). Here is the news flash...The US constitution does not, in any way, ensure the right of personal gun ownership for personal use or self defense.

Now that being said, much of English and American common law, as well as some original State Constitutions (Indiana and Pennsylvania off the top of my head) do guarentee that individual personal right. The US constitution's reference to a right to keep and bear arms is a civic collective right, if you will. Much like your right to assembly and to petition for grievances, the right to bear arms is a right that can only be exercised in a group, and in this instance a group under strict goverment regulation. In revolutionary times that group was a well regulated militia (well regulated here means under government control folks), today that group happens to be the National Guard. So, to sum up the story, the 2nd admendment to the US Const. no longer grants you anything really.

When I alluded in an earlier post that neither side would be happy with the original intent of the admendment I meant it. It generally says something when an interpretation makes neither end of the spectrum all that happy. Following the spirit of the second admendment as put forth by the founders would make pro-gun advocates quite displeased that they were under strict goverment control and subject to government inspections and cataloging of their arms. On the other hand the anti-gun advoactes would be rather displeased that they would be forced to own and train on firearms or be subject to fines and punishment.

It is important to note that the arguments posed by both sides of the issue have a rich and long standing history BUT (hold on to your jock straps) neither of these arguments stem from revolutionary thought. The modern Pro gun school of thought is born of the reconstruction era and the modern anti gun lobby stems form the first few decades of the 20th century. It's time we leave these post revolutionary concepts behind and examine the original intent, as well as the basis in English common law for the arguments we have now.

Lets get back to some federalists vs. anti federalist research.

tompritchett
11-12-2007, 10:41 AM
Here is the news flash...The US constitution does not, in any way, ensure the right of personal gun ownership for personal use or self defense.

According to your interpretation. However, didn't the recent Supreme or Appellate Court decision overturning the DC gun control law use just that argument in applying its decision? (I am not a lawyer and am having to rely on memory about the news report so my statement is truly a question and not a statement of fact.)

tompritchett
11-12-2007, 10:53 AM
Some/many clergy certainly did believe and argue as you state. Some others advocated a much more entwined relationship, and have not really given up the argument since then.

I agree. I used the term "clergy" because, without an preceeding qualifying adjective, I always assume "some". But thanks for the clarification for those that would assume that I was implying all clergy.

Another item about separation of church and state is that we are often taught that clause was inserted in the Constitution because of the persecution that ran the Pilgrams out of England. In reality it inclusion was more about non-separation that was occurring in the American colonies themselves. The government of the Massachuets colony and many of its towns were heavily intwined with the Puritan religious establishment. That in turn resulted in Roger Williams establishing the Rhode Island colony. The colony of Virginia at one time denied public office to any one not on the roles as a member of the Church of England - a practice that James Madison particular objected to.

bob 125th nysvi
11-12-2007, 09:11 PM
is law.

It is part of human society to evolve rules that we live under. We call those rules 'law'.

Law is manmade therefore it can not be 'natural' as in something above and beyond human society.

Even if you would like to say some laws are given from above man (for example the 10 Commandments), none of them mention gun ownership to the best of my knowledge.

jthlmnn
11-12-2007, 11:27 PM
It is part of human society to evolve rules that we live under. We call those rules 'law'.
You are partially correct. There are, however, different types of law.


Law is manmade therefore it can not be 'natural' as in something above and beyond human society.
You are confusing natural law, positive law and divine law. Just so we all understand what the other folks are saying, I've included definitions below.

Natural Law: noun
The doctrine that human affairs should be governed by ethical principles that are part of the very nature of things and that can be understood by reason. The first two paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence contain a clear statement of the doctrine.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Positive Law: noun
Law established or recognized by governmental authority.
Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law, © 1996 Merriam-Webster, Inc.

Divine Law:noun
A law that is believed to come directly from God.
WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.

bob 125th nysvi
11-12-2007, 11:40 PM
Natural Law: noun
The doctrine that human affairs should be governed by ethical principles that are part of the very nature of things and that can be understood by reason. The first two paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence contain a clear statement of the doctrine.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

despite being in a dictionary is a nonsensical term.

For starters 'ethics' are highly subjective based on time and place and culture.

"Nature" has no laws and no REASON!

It is completely inert as far as any concepts related to humanity. It exists simply based on the physical laws that govern the interaction of its various components.

Natural Law is also based on a theoritical concept that some how humans are above (or maybe on top of) all other living things on this planet which is strictly a religious concept based on our own hubris. A hungry tiger does not see you as some superior being. It sees you as a slow underarmed DINNER. That is 'natural' law.

The founding fathers, for all their brilliance, were using terms that made sense to them based on their limited scientific knowledge and the mores of the day.

Before them there was a "divine right" of kings based on "natural" laws.

The founding fathers rejected that concept as archaic and we should be rejecting their concept of "natural law" based on the same principle.

Just because something is written in the Constitution does not make it correct or immutable.

WestTN_reb
11-13-2007, 01:37 AM
despite being in a dictionary is a nonsensical term.

For starters 'ethics' are highly subjective based on time and place and culture.


We went over the whole question of ethics in paramedic school. In the context of medicine, ethics are what you know to be right or wrong. Morals are highly subjective, depending on the individuals interpretation of ethics.

jthlmnn
11-13-2007, 03:10 AM
despite being in a dictionary is a nonsensical term.

For starters 'ethics' are highly subjective based on time and place and culture.

"Nature" has no laws and no REASON!

It is completely inert as far as any concepts related to humanity. It exists simply based on the physical laws that govern the interaction of its various components.

Natural Law is also based on a theoritical concept that some how humans are above (or maybe on top of) all other living things on this planet which is strictly a religious concept based on our own hubris. A hungry tiger does not see you as some superior being. It sees you as a slow underarmed DINNER. That is 'natural' law.

The founding fathers, for all their brilliance, were using terms that made sense to them based on their limited scientific knowledge and the mores of the day.

Before them there was a "divine right" of kings based on "natural" laws.

The founding fathers rejected that concept as archaic and we should be rejecting their concept of "natural law" based on the same principle.

Just because something is written in the Constitution does not make it correct or immutable.

Ease up there! I am not trying to convince you of the value or merit of any particular concept of law. I merely pointed out that the terms have technical meanings which need to be understood and used appropriately, for the sake of clear understanding. Yes, the "Founding Fathers" (and mothers, too) believed in concepts like natural law and divine law, so we had better have a clear understanding of these concepts if we are going to understand what those folks meant when they used them in documents that form our current, positive laws. Whether we like the concepts or consider them to be antiquated drivel is beside the point.

hanktrent
11-13-2007, 09:42 AM
For starters 'ethics' are highly subjective based on time and place and culture.
We went over the whole question of ethics in paramedic school. In the context of medicine, ethics are what you know to be right or wrong. Morals are highly subjective, depending on the individuals interpretation of ethics.

And yet isn't it still true that ethics are highly subjective based on time and place and culture?

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

tompritchett
11-13-2007, 10:48 AM
And yet isn't it still true that ethics are highly subjective based on time and place and culture?

Theoretically, no. In reality, definitely.

bob 125th nysvi
11-15-2007, 10:47 PM
Theoretically, no. In reality, definitely.

there Tom.

Slavery existed for thousands of years with the support of honest ethical people. It is only with the advent of modern industrialized western culture that the idea became discredited. Slaves were neither more or less human than before slavery became discredited. It was society that changed not the nature of the slaves.

Women had no rights and were treated as chattel property. In some parts of the world they still are.

"We hold these truths to be self evident ... that all men were created equal ..." unless you were a slave desended from african peoples.

What is or isn't ethical, what is or isn't "right" changes everyday based on societal changes, technology, religion, cultral stress.

So we are faced with a problem either the truth isn't "self evident" or ethical moral people chose to ignore the "self evident" truths.

100 years from now we will be cloning people. We will treat those clones one way or another based on the morals of the time. 1000 years beyond that clones will be treated differently than when they are first created.

Their nature hasn't changed, they aren't any more or less clones, societies preception of them will have changed. That's all.

Milliron
11-16-2007, 12:25 AM
Hate to tell ya, but if the governent wants to "oppress" us, owning a gun will not stop them.

Now Dusty, I am amused that I am taking this side of the discussion (usually I support some gun control, though I am a gun owner), but I have to disagree with you there.

I think the government trying to rule by force outside the rule of law would be VERY difficult to do. The best example to me of this notion, oddly enough, was the Davidian standoff in Waco, TX. Whatever you think of the rightness or wrongness of it, and it certainly was tragic, those people resisted the power of the Federal government quite well with firearms that (mostly) could be found at your local Bass Pro Shop. That the outcome was a foregone conclusion doesn't matter, those people grabbed the attention of the entire U.S., if not the world, and forced the U.S. to negotiate with them. To me, it really was the 2nd Amendment in action.

Now don't get me wrong. I don't believe what happened there should ever have happened. However, it was an unrehearsed example of what the 2nd Amendment brings to the table. I thought it was the ugliest thing I ever saw--but it does seem to me that showed the 2A "working as intended." Whether that should be our intention any more, is wholly another debate.

As far as the OP is concerned, I do think gun ownership is a privilege, not an inalienable "right." Most people have no objection to laws preventing the criminal, insane, or juvenile from firearm ownership, that would make it a privilege, not an absolute right. Frankly, an absolute right to me is the right NOT to be shot, not the right to shoot someone else.

tompritchett
11-16-2007, 12:51 AM
Have To Disagree there Tom.

Your whole post just proved my point when I said "In reality, definitely". I would suggest that your re-read the quote that I was commenting on as you will see that I am saying that ethics are definitely "highly subjective based on time and place and culture". The only reason that I said theoretically "no" was based upon the definitions of ethics versus morals when taught in ethics related course materials. By those definitions ethics transcend time, place and culture. However, as we both know theory and reality do not match in this case.

dustyswb
11-16-2007, 12:37 PM
I think the government trying to rule by force outside the rule of law would be VERY difficult to do. The best example to me of this notion, oddly enough, was the Davidian standoff in Waco, TX. Whatever you think of the rightness or wrongness of it, and it certainly was tragic, those people resisted the power of the Federal government quite well with firearms that (mostly) could be found at your local Bass Pro Shop. That the outcome was a foregone conclusion doesn't matter, those people grabbed the attention of the entire U.S., if not the world, and forced the U.S. to negotiate with them. To me, it really was the 2nd Amendment in action.

Bob,

I would use that instance to prove my point and say the outcome being inevitable does matter. No citizen or group of any size armed with legal firearms (those that folks are able to own under current gun laws) would have ANY chance against a determined US government if they wanted to "take over".

Might take some of them with ya, but someone else would have to tell everyone else about it.

Sgt_Pepper
11-16-2007, 03:14 PM
The claim that the right to keep and bear arms is a "collective right" based on membership in an organized body is the most specious of all arguments for gun control. To understand this, one only needs to contemplate its implication that the term "the People" has a different meaning in the Second Amendment than it does in all the other Amendments.

According to the rules of the English language, the so-called "militia clause" is not a clause at all, but a prepositional phrase. The Amendment may say simply, "The right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed," without losing any meaning.

The National Guard is not a militia, much less the militia mentioned in the Second Amendment, and neither replaces nor supersedes it. The militia is described in US Code Chapter 13, § 311 and 312: http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/10/ch13.html

The notion that the US military will unquestionably obey orders to fire on their fellow citizens is nonsense. Those who might obey would do so only if coerced or lied to, and the consequences of doing so would be dire in the extreme.

tompritchett
11-16-2007, 04:42 PM
It all depends on the officers and the circumstances that caused the uprising. The oath of office that I took years ago was not to any administration, political party or particular President but rather to this nation and the Constitution on which it stands. Yes, our oath was to follow the orders of the Commander in Chief but only because it was his job to protect this nation and the Constitution. If the circumstances that triggered the revolt were blatantly unconstitutional, it is likely that the senior officers would initially resign or worse throw their support to the people if that was, in their eyes, needed to restore the rule of the Constitution. I have read of at least one case where very senior commanders in the military have told the President that they would resign rather than carry out his orders because of this issue.

hanktrent
11-16-2007, 06:16 PM
The notion that the US military will unquestionably obey orders to fire on their fellow citizens is nonsense. Those who might obey would do so only if coerced or lied to, and the consequences of doing so would be dire in the extreme.

How about US soldiers who fired on southerners during the Civil War? If a northerner believed the south had no right to secede, those southerners would still be "fellow citizens," although they had armed and organized themselves.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

bill watson
11-16-2007, 06:36 PM
One need not go back that far.

Kent State, 1970.

jthlmnn
11-16-2007, 07:15 PM
The claim that the right to keep and bear arms is a "collective right" based on membership in an organized body is the most specious of all arguments for gun control. To understand this, one only needs to contemplate its implication that the term "the People" has a different meaning in the Second Amendment than it does in all the other Amendments.

In each ammendment where "the people" is used, it is used to refer to a collective.
U.S. Supreme Court: United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez, 494 U.S. 259 (1990),
"the people" seems to be a term of art used in select parts of the Constitution and contrasts with the words "person" and "accused" used in Articles of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments regulating criminal procedures. This suggests that "the people" refers to a class of persons who are part of a national community or who have otherwise developed sufficient connection with this country to be considered part of that community.


According to the rules of the English language, the so-called "militia clause" is not a clause at all, but a prepositional phrase. The Amendment may say simply, "The right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed," without losing any meaning.

That would be applying 20th-21st century rules of grammar and punctuation to an 18th century document. Commas were commonly used for rhetorical pauses in written documents, somewhat the way a comma above a musical staff is used to this day to indicate a pause. Also, different forms of punctuation are used in reprints of the 2nd ammendment. One has commas after the words "militia", "state", and "arms". Another one has a comma only after the word "state". The Statutes at Large (the official permanent record of all laws enacted) does not include the comma after "militia". The Government Printing Office, well, sometimes its there and sometimes its not. The comma after "state" is always there. The comma after "arms" seems to appear only in modern reprints.


The National Guard is not a militia, much less the militia mentioned in the Second Amendment, and neither replaces nor supersedes it. The militia is described in US Code Chapter 13, § 311 and 312: http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/10/ch13.html

In Maryland v. United States, 381 U.S. 41 (1965) the U.S. Supreme Court wrote,
"The National Guard is the modern Militia reserved to the States by Art. I. 8, cl. 15, 16, of the Constitution."

The argument as to whether the 2nd Amendment deals with an individual or a collective right is ongoing and unsettled. There is no unanimity in the Federal District Courts, and the Supreme Court has not specifically addressed this aspect of the issue. Good arguments can and have been made advocating both perspectives. Until the Supreme Court makes a ruling that clearly addresses the issue, the debate will go on (and on, and on, and on).

sbl
11-16-2007, 09:45 PM
Dusty, You give us no hope! We'll just have to work within the system.

tompritchett
11-16-2007, 11:24 PM
There is no unanimity in the Federal District Courts, and the Supreme Court has not specifically addressed this aspect of the issue. Good arguments can and have been made advocating both perspectives. Until the Supreme Court makes a ruling that clearly addresses the issue, the debate will go on (and on, and on, and on).

But that may be finally addressed if the Supreme Court does decide to hear the appeal of the Court of Appeals ruling on the Washington DC gun control law.

bill watson
11-16-2007, 11:39 PM
From the 1861 army regs:

actual: "the coat or jacket shall be buttoned and closed at the neck."

"The coat or jacket shall be buttoned, and closed at the neck" would have been a lot clearer and we would not have folks, then and now, thinking all they need to button is the top button ....

Just another, very familiar to us, example showing how the presence or absence of a comma can have a profound effect on the meaning of words.


However, I don't think the grammar is central to the issue, because clearly the inclusion of all the ideas in one sentence indicates that in the minds of those who drafted the sentence, all the ideas are related.

Nor is it necessarily the case that because weapons are asserted to be valuable for a collective use there is no right to private ownership. As I and others have noted, you were supposed to bring your own private weapon when called out. The concept expressed is that since you need to have a good, effective militia when you need a militia, the people who will be called upon to serve need to have their own weapons. Private ownership of weapons in the 18th Century was clearly a recognized preexisting condition for creation of militia.

But having said that, looking again at the actual wordings of the amendment

“ 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. ”

or

“ 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. "

it is not clear to me that present-day steps to register weapons are any kind of "infringement" on a right. One could argue that a well regulated militia also requires the authorities qualified to call it out to know who's bringing what to the party. And one can further argue that requiring those who arm themselves for militia service should absolutely be required to demonstrate proficiency in use and accompany good judgment.

The lethal force embodied in the weapons themselves is manifestly to be deployed to accomplish a public goal, within militia service. The idea that this amendment means the fellow down the road with not enough mental competency to tie his shoes is allowed to own a lethal weapon, no questions asked, would probably be greeted with astonishment by the drafters of the Bill of Rights. Ditto the village villain, the fellow who might be the reason you'd have to call out a militia to take away his weapons.

Having said all that, I get back to the question I asked earlier: Given that private weapon ownership was a precondition to a right granted in support of a need to use force for public order from time to time, do we have any reason, structure, concept or condition now that makes private ownership of weapons a condition in support of a valuable public goal? The militia is long gone. Without some other public purpose supported by private weapons ownership, this argument will indeed go on and on and on.

flattop32355
11-17-2007, 12:21 AM
And one can further argue that requiring those who arm themselves for militia service should absolutely be required to demonstrate proficiency in use and accompany good judgment.

Hence, the reason it says "A well regulated militia".

Well regulated indicates a certain degree of training, records of who is involved and who is in command positions, that weapons are of known quantity and quality with ammunition available for each, &c. It is not a slapdash, troubles-a-comin'-everybody-come-runnin' thing.

Part of "well regulated" quite probably included knowing who carried what type weapon, or at least how many of what types were within a given militia unit. It also required you to own a functioning weapon, and to attend the training sessions or be fined. Some exception was made for those who, for religious purposes, would not own a weapon, such as Quakers, but not always.

sbl
11-17-2007, 09:32 AM
I'd rather have or be part of "A well regulated militia" than entrust my community to my ex-nephew-in-law, or Cooter ,Sweeter, and Harvey Lee.

The mythology in my area of the Minutemen is of the "troubles-a-comin'-everybody-come-runnin' thing" when in reality the communities supplied weapons to the younger members of the militia who made up the Minute Men. These men were less likely to own a weapon but were more likely to be available for service.

DaveGink
11-17-2007, 11:33 AM
Hence, the reason it says "A well regulated militia".

Well regulated indicates a certain degree of training, records of who is involved and who is in command positions, that weapons are of known quantity and quality with ammunition available for each, &c. It is not a slapdash, troubles-a-comin'-everybody-come-runnin' thing.

Part of "well regulated" quite probably included knowing who carried what type weapon, or at least how many of what types were within a given militia unit. It also required you to own a functioning weapon, and to attend the training sessions or be fined. Some exception was made for those who, for religious purposes, would not own a weapon, such as Quakers, but not always.

As long as you are not saying that a 'well regulated militia' means only government-sanctioned, trained, and equipped. Or that the Second Amendment is meant to apply only to members of an official active "militia", and not to 'the people' (individuals) themselves.

The Second Amendment preserves and guarantees an individual right for a collective purpose. That does not transform the right into a "collective right." The militia clause was a declaration of purpose, and preserving the people's (individuals) right to personally keep and bear arms was the method the framers chose, in-part, to ensure the protection of our basic, inalienable right of self defense.

To put it simply, the framers wrote in the Secind Amendment: "The People have a right to keep and bear arms. And the Government will not infringe on that right. Why? Because we know the importance of their having weapons at home ready to be mobilized for the defense of our Country and freedom (and this includes protection from our own government if need be).

The two parts of the Amendment are meant to be complimentary, not narrowing. And there is no contrary evidence from the writings of the Founding Fathers, early American legal commentators, or pre-twentieth century Supreme Court decisions, indicating that the Second Amendment was intended to apply solely to members of a government-sanctioned active "militia".

However, there are scores of quotes by them, from the Federalst papers, to Supreme court opinions, to personal letters, etc. that show that their view on this amendment was that The People (individuals) had a right to personally keep and bear arms in their homes, in order to protect their 'natural right' of self defense (protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness) -- and this was not to be dependent upon the Government.
And they make clear that the ability of citizens to protect themselves FROM their own Govenment was in large part the reason for a having a ready-made "militia" of armed citizens. It would make no sense to create a "militia" dependent upon a government (leaders, training, weapons) if the purpose of that militia is to be able to rise up and protect themselves from that same goverment.

St. George Tucker, a Revolutionary War militia officer, legal scholar, and a U.S. District Court judge (appointed by James Madison in 1813), wrote of the Second Amendment: "The right of self-defense is the first law of nature; in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Whenever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction."

Justice Joseph Story, appointed to the Supreme Court by James Madison, wrote: “The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”

In other words, the right of the people to keep and bear arms is the most essential of the rights enumerated in our Constitution, because it ensures the preservation of all other rights.

Take away the "right of the people to keep and bear arms" (by over regulation or outright banning), and you automatically take away their 'natural right' of self defense by leaving them defenseless from criminals, invaders from outside the Country (or within), and from their own government -- because then only they would possess the arms. And then, the Second Amendment, and our inalienable right to self-defense, would be truly violated.


Who are "the Militia"? It is ourselves (The People).

In 1788, while the States were considering ratification of the Constitution, Continental Congressman Tench Coxe wrote: "Who are the militia? are they not ourselves. Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American...The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.

flattop32355
11-17-2007, 07:23 PM
As long as you are not saying that a 'well regulated militia' means only government-sanctioned, trained, and equipped. Or that the Second Amendment is meant to apply only to members of an official active "militia", and not to 'the people' (individuals) themselves....

...Who are "the Militia"? It is ourselves (The People).

My question then becomes, "Who is then to 'well regulate' it?"

Is it the individuals themselves, or even the local community? I seriously doubt that is what was meant, or it would not have needed to be spelled out in a national document. Totally local control would have meant chaos in anything except a local situation. If it need not be "well regulated", why even mention it?

State level seems to me to be the lowest level at which a "well regulated militia" could exist. Coordination of action, insurance of properly maintained weapons and standardized training would be impossible to keep below this level.

There were those who wished to establish the militia at the federal level, and even to compose it of selected persons rather than all white males ages 15-45. This was met with strong, though by no means universal, criticism. It may well have been one of the reasons the issue was addressed at the federal level in the first place.

At the time following the defeat of Great Britain and independence, the general concept was that every white male should be armed and trained so as to be available for service for either the local, state, or national emergency. It seems odd to me that the 2nd Amendment, which speaks to state (national or the states) security, would be construed to have meaning at an individual level that does not translate into that higher level.

Obviously, this issue will never be resolve to everyone's satisfaction. Not enough background commentary exists as to specific intent, and what does exist has various interpretations, as should be expected. Then there are those who insist upon placing modern interpretation to it, for good or ill.


To put it simply, the framers wrote in the Secind Amendment: "The People have a right to keep and bear arms.

I see it more that the framers wrote that the people have a responsibility to keep and bear arms, for the defence of their communities, states, and nation, and that the state and nation cannot deny them that responsibility, as had been done in England at the time.

DaveGink
11-17-2007, 09:01 PM
My question then becomes, "Who is then to 'well regulate' it?"

If I gave the impression that the Federal, State, or local government didn't regulate militias, than I was unclear. However those same Federal, State, and local authorities have no legitimate power to disarm the people from which militias are organized (leaving the people defenseless).

The People do not have a "right to keep and bear arms" because of militias. They had militias because of the right of the people to keep and bear arms. And we still have that same right today, because we still have the same inalienable right of self defense.


Is it the individuals themselves, or even the local community? I seriously doubt that is what was meant, or it would not have needed to be spelled out in a national document. Totally local control would have meant chaos in anything except a local situation. If it need not be "well regulated", why even mention it?

Because BOTH were important. The citizens' right to arms is enhanced by having an organized and properly directed militia.

As I said, The two parts of the Amendment are complimentary, not limiting

The right of the people to keep and bear arms (to protect our right of self defense, and other rights) is not contingent upon being in, or having a militia - or a standing Army, or police, or even a federal government. But of course the Founders realized insurrections may occur from time to time and that a militia's may be needed to suppress them. And that there was the possibility of needing to assist a standing Army in the defense of the State. And they also realized that however remote the possibility of usurpation was, the people with their arms, had the right to restore their republican form of government by force, if necessary, as an extreme last resort.


State level seems to me to be the lowest level at which a "well regulated militia" could exist. Coordination of action, insurance of properly maintained weapons and standardized training would be impossible to keep below this level.

Possibly. But that doesn't really matter. The founders guaranteed the right to 'THE PEOPLE' to keep and bear arms, as opposed to only active militia members or a State militia (of course, via the militia clause, the Second Amendment acknowledges, as well, the right of a state to maintain a militia). However, In Federalist No. 28. Hamilton clearly states there exists a right of self-defense against a tyrannical government, and it includes the people with their own arms:

"If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual State. In a single State, if the persons intrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair."

Clearly showing that our right to keep and bear arms goes beyond being a member of a "well-regulated militia".

This is supported by what Continental Congressman Coxe said about the Second Amendment prior to the BoR being radified:

"As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow-citizens, the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms."



There were those who wished to establish the militia at the federal level, and even to compose it of selected persons rather than all white males ages 15-45. This was met with strong, though by no means universal, criticism. It may well have been one of the reasons the issue was addressed at the federal level in the first place.

At the time following the defeat of Great Britain and independence, the general concept was that every white male should be armed and trained so as to be available for service for either the local, state, or national emergency. It seems odd to me that the 2nd Amendment, which speaks to state (national or the states) security, would be construed to have meaning at an individual level that does not translate into that higher level.

Obviously, this issue will never be resolve to everyone's satisfaction. Not enough background commentary exists as to specific intent, and what does exist has various interpretations, as should be expected. Then there are those who insist upon placing modern interpretation to it, for good or ill.

I see it more that the framers wrote that the people have a responsibility to keep and bear arms, for the defence of their communities, states, and nation, and that the state and nation cannot deny them that responsibility, as had been done in England at the time.

This is mostly true but only part of the whole picture. In just the few quotes I've posted (of many commentaries available) you'll see without a doubt through the writings of the framers on this subject, that they indeed were protecting the individuals right of 'self defense' (including against their own Government), beyond simply having a responsibility for the defense of the State though a militia.

It was known at the time that England had disarmed much of it's citizenry and the framers saw the danger. St. George Tucker's commentaries on the second amendment below (and how it relates to England restricting this right) is evidence that the militia clause was not intended to restrict the right to keep arms to active militia members. You will notice he admonishes them (and any government that does this) for restricting the right of the people to keep and bear arms while a standing Army is kept up because it violates their right of self defense (to protect their liberties)...

"The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, and this without any qualification as to their condition or degree, as is the case in the British government. ...
...This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty... The right of self-defense is the first law of nature; in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Whenever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction. In England, the people have been disarmed, generally, under the specious pretext of preserving the game: a never failing lure to bring over the landed aristocracy to support any measure, under that mask, though calculated for very different purposes. True it is, their bill of rights seems at first view to counteract this policy: but the right of bearing arms is confined to protestants, and the words suitable to their condition and degree, have been interpreted to authorise the prohibition of keeping a gun or other engine for the destruction of game, to any farmer, or inferior tradesman, or other person not qualified to kill game. So that not one man in five hundred can keep a gun in his house without being subject to a penalty."

I think it is clear, the original intent and purpose of the Second Amendment was to preserve and guarantee (not grant) the pre-existing right of individuals to keep and bear arms. Although the amendment emphasizes the need for a militia, membership in any militia, let alone a well-regulated one, was not intended to serve as a prerequisite for exercising the right to keep and bear arms.

bob 125th nysvi
11-17-2007, 09:48 PM
Your whole post just proved my point when I said "In reality, definitely". I would suggest that your re-read the quote that I was commenting on as you will see that I am saying that ethics are definitely "highly subjective based on time and place and culture". The only reason that I said theoretically "no" was based upon the definitions of ethics versus morals when taught in ethics related course materials. By those definitions ethics transcend time, place and culture. However, as we both know theory and reality do not match in this case.

and quite honestly some of those professors wouldn't agree with us.

They think that ethics are absolute, all encompassing and immutable.

And of course the actions they think are ethical.

In my opinion (a higly subjective thing I admit) when theory is out of whack with reality in is just nonsense.

bob 125th nysvi
11-17-2007, 10:12 PM
as we knew were controlled by what functioned as a local government.

What we forget today, since we have organized government down to incrediably minute levels, is that in post revolutionary America we weren't that organized.

Many settlements had no formal government but a collective group of individuals making decisions for the community.

I couldn't go out and form "Bob's militia" without the support of at least part of the community.

But what happened (and had already occurred by the time of the Civil War) as the fontier moved westward and where there was an organized governmental entity the militia could only organize with the approval of that government. In most cases the 'militia's' weapons were held in government facilities.

Less than 80 years removed from the forming of the US nobody believed that an individual could go out and organize their own militia, they needed government involvement and support.

Even immediately after independence Washington used militia/regular forces to put down the Whiskey Rebellion and to disband the 'militia' units that supported the rebels.

If one of the men who helped establish this country believed (with the support of the men who wrote and ratified the amendment in question) the central government was within it's authority to disband militia units it considered "unregulated", then I think it is a little foolish of us to argue that "well regulated" does not carry a heavy governmental oversight component.

And US forces, at the direction of the government, have often used force against American citizens in a state of rebellion. And those troops for the most part have obeyed because they have recognized that what is being asked of them is both legal an necessary.

They will do it again if necessary, fortunately the people who believe that they have to arm themselves against the government are few in number and can be handled as a law enforcement issue not a military one.

And luckly for the militia too because any US Infantry company could make short bloody work of 5 times its number of 'militiamen'.

And before our southern brethern get too high and mighty about 'federal forces' oppressing southerns exercising their 'rights' I would like to remind them that their government used its military forces against unionists in southern states who fought to protect their 'rights'.

The nice thing about history is the wheel goes around and around.

bill watson
11-18-2007, 10:58 AM
But there was a shift. Not much going on these days in the way of state militia. You can trace that directly to the Civil War. When the state militias became precursors of Confederate fighting regiments, it lead to some thinking that maybe we'd be better off not having such things in the future. In the Sixth South Carolina, several of the companies were in fact the state militia companies from places like Lancaster and Chester. Militia units had undergone a resurgence in interest and growth across the country in the decade prior to the war, partly as just socialization but partly also in response to all the rude talk from both sides. Go try to find an armed individual anywhere in the organization that is the descendant of the South Carolina militia today (the name of it escapes me). They still have military-style rank but that's about it. Anyone who thinks that's an accident must not have been paying attention. :-)

Nowadays the form of the militia that IS preserved is pretty clearly comparable to the "nationalized militia' of the colonial era, when men were given military weapons from the national (sovereign) government's stores and put into service for national, not local, purposes, and we even call it the "National" Guard. And now the national purposes to which they might be put include disaster response and rioting, plus enforcement of national policy on things like segregation (Selma, all that).

Interesting turns of events.

We could have much the same discussion about how freedom of the press, originally intended to foster freedom of political expression, is now harnessed to the engine of profit-making. But that's another board.

dustyswb
11-18-2007, 11:11 AM
Dusty, You give us no hope! We'll just have to work within the system.

Scott, you and I help to create the "system". Everyone has a say. That is the beauty of our form of government.

As I've stated before, you can either change things or move to another country. Having a gun (or several) in my basement isn't going to protect me from the government if they come knocking.

Weren't militias set up because of a lack of police or military protection for the general public? Seems we have that today.

As I've said in the past, I'm not opposed to gun ownership. I believe the 2nd Amendment is outdate in principal as the country's makeup is much different than when the document was created. I don't understand what law abiding folks have against a licensing process, where perspective owners would have to take a safety test and properly handle a gun to own one. Much like my car license analogy. The government already knows everything they want to know about you from other sources; driver's license, SSN, mortgage contracts, bank accounts, credit bureaus, employment records, etc.

As "oppressive" as some feel our government is, it is still the best one on the planet. I'm staying.

sbl
11-18-2007, 11:43 AM
Dusty I agree with you. I should have put a :) at the end of my sentence. I think the Founders tried to set a system that active involved citizens could correct before it got to the tyrant stage, with armed organized citizens to protect it.

Tarheel57
11-20-2007, 01:31 PM
....Weren't militias set up because of a lack of police or military protection for the general public? Seems we have that today....



I agree. Most folks don't realize that our Police have no legal obligation to protect individual citizens. According to the courts, their purpose is to protect "society at large" by active patrolling and apprehending lawbreakers.
Now, I think that our Police try their best to protect us, but they simply do not have the resources and they are hampered by a revolving door criminal justice system. So, by default, we are largely responsible for our own protection. That's why the classic anti-gun argument "no one needs guns because we have the Police" isn't valid.

flattop32355
11-20-2007, 02:17 PM
Let's stir the mud a bit more, here: There was at that time, and still is, debate about whether the 2nd Amendment guarantees the right to own weapons for self defence, rather than for the common defence, which includes use against a tyrannical federal or state government.

There did seem to be agreement that such weapons could be also be utilized for personal self defence if in a household, according to the rules of "common law", rather than constitutional law.

jthlmnn
11-20-2007, 09:54 PM
Let's stir the mud a bit more, here: There was at that time, and still is, debate about whether the 2nd Amendment guarantees the right to own weapons for self defence, rather than for the common defence, which includes use against a tyrannical federal or state government.

There did seem to be agreement that such weapons could be also be utilized for personal self defence if in a household, according to the rules of "common law", rather than constitutional law.


To date, the Supreme Court has maintained that the 2nd amendment only restricts actions by the federal government. Individual states can regulate as they see fit. (U.S. v Miller & Presser v. Illinois) Some states have included the use of firearms for individual protection in their constitutions, others have not. The Supreme Court has today decided to hear "D.C. v Heller (Parker)". It should be an interesting case. I, for one will be interested to see if the District of Columbia's unique status (not a state), will be a factor. It will also be worth watching to see if the court "incorporates" the 2nd amendment into the 14th. To date, it has not. Will common law come into play in their considerations? Maybe, maybe not. There is no guarantee.

One of the most ironic (to me, at least) aspects of the issue is that those who tend to favor stricter gun control utilize what can termed a "state's rights" approach, while those who view the 2nd amendment as an individual right (many of whom are otherwise suspicious of the federal government) are pushing for constitutional (ergo federal) law to supercede state and local law. Only in America! :-)

Tarheel57
11-20-2007, 10:29 PM
Let's stir the mud a bit more, here: There was at that time, and still is, debate about whether the 2nd Amendment guarantees the right to own weapons for self defence, rather than for the common defence, which includes use against a tyrannical federal or state government.

There did seem to be agreement that such weapons could be also be utilized for personal self defence if in a household, according to the rules of "common law", rather than constitutional law.

The bulk of legal scholars agree that the 2nd amendment granted an individual right to own guns, not the "collective" right touted by some anti-gun groups. This has yet to filter down to the mainstream media, even though it was the consensus as far back as the 80's. I was a staff member at the UNC-CH law school library back in 1988, and hd some interesting conversations with a couple of professors, one of whom loaned me some of his material.
For me it's always been pretty much commons sense. The anti-gun crowd would have us believe that when the Founding Fathers said "the people" in other amendments, they meant one thing, but in the 2nd they meant something entirely different.
So far, I've seen no anti-gun authors that can approach the work of people like Gary Kleck and David Kopel. Nine times out of ten if you read the tomes of the anti-gun crowd and then check their sources, they have twisted or just plain misquoted them.
People can talk about "gun nuts", but I'd rather be around the most demented militia type than some of these anti-gun crusaders. They believe that they have a monopoly on truth and morality, and anyone who opposes them is "evil" and therefore outside the bounds of human decency. They are willing to sacrifice anything to implement their "vision of the anointed" to borrow a term from Thomas Sowell.
I one had a couple of anti-gun dweebs try to get me fired simply because we disagreed during a discussion of gun ownership. People like this are the real "nuts".

bill watson
11-20-2007, 11:30 PM
So, what did the Founding Fathers mean when they said "militia" in the Second Amendment?

tompritchett
11-20-2007, 11:55 PM
So, what did the Founding Fathers mean when they said "militia" in the Second Amendment?

I guess we will find out in April when the Supreme Court is expected to hear D.C. v Heller (Parker)" and make a ruling. Anything before then will be just speculation.

Tarheel57
11-21-2007, 12:05 AM
So, what did the Founding Fathers mean when they said "militia" in the Second Amendment?

Well, according to Cottroll and Diamond, in English law the "militia" was traditionally all free able bodied men capable of bearing arms. Madison, who I believe authored the 2nd amendment, envisioned the "militia" as being virtually the entire while male population. The Uniform Militia Act of 1792 clarified that it was for every free, able bodied white male from 18-45 to enroll and provide their own weapon. (Kopel, pp 132-134.)

Milliron
11-21-2007, 12:08 AM
Well, I for one am that rarest of animals, the gun owner who does not have an inherent objection to gun control. I have yet to run across an argument from gun advocates that doesn't go something like this: "If the Government institutes gun control, the next thing you know, they'll be taking all the guns away." As a logical matter, this argument is illogical on its face (the classic "slippery slope" argument)

For the record, I believe that the 2nd Amendment intended to grant the right to bear arms to the ordinary citizen. That the 2nd Amendment states that the purpose of the right is (arguably, but not very much so) to provide the citizenry with the means to resist their own government is instructive. Considering that way the amendment is written, you have a greater right to own a 81 mm mortar than you do to own a Glock (the former being more conducive to a "well organized militia")

That the Framers could not have expected the results that widespread gun ownership would have in America goes without saying. If pro-gun advocates want to delude themselves into believing there isn't a problem with gun violence in this country, then they are fooling themselves. Normally unintended results are not a problem, Constitutionally speaking. The Supreme Court has a long history of creating law out of these Amendments, and that is their Consitutional role. These laws are known as "Constitutional penumbra," as they arise from interpretations of the Constitution, rather than the Constitution itself. Probably the best known "penumbral" case is Griswold v. Connecticut, which struck down a Connecticut law prohibiting the sale of contraceptives. In so doing the Court created a "right to privacy", (which does not exist in the Constitution), by noting that while no specific privacy right existed, several other amendments essentially exist to provide basic privacies, enough to conclude that the Framers intended to protect a citizens basic right to (marital, in this case) privacy. It is controversial in that Griswold is the underpinning of Roe v. Wade

How does this apply to the Second Amendment? The Court has never really stated what the Second Amendment provides to the citizen. 130 years ago, the Court's position was than the 2nd Amendment proscription only applied to Federal law. However, I believe the Court has more than enough precedent now to specifically limit the Second Amendment by invoking any number of particular "penumbral" bases like the Fourteenth and Ninth amendments. Will they so find in Heller? I am dying to find out. The "strict constructionists" are likely to have a hard time stating anything other than the 2nd amendment applies to Federal law, thus upholding the D.C. ban, and touching off a political firestorm across the country. Yes, very interesting.

jthlmnn
11-21-2007, 10:09 AM
The bulk of legal scholars agree that the 2nd amendment granted an individual right to own guns, not the "collective" right touted by some anti-gun groups. This has yet to filter down to the mainstream media, even though it was the consensus as far back as the 80's. I was a staff member at the UNC-CH law school library back in 1988, and hd some interesting conversations with a couple of professors, one of whom loaned me some of his material.
For me it's always been pretty much commons sense. The anti-gun crowd would have us believe that when the Founding Fathers said "the people" in other amendments, they meant one thing, but in the 2nd they meant something entirely different.
So far, I've seen no anti-gun authors that can approach the work of people like Gary Kleck and David Kopel. Nine times out of ten if you read the tomes of the anti-gun crowd and then check their sources, they have twisted or just plain misquoted them.


How about the Supreme Court and the Judges of the Federal Circuit courts? (No, I am not being snide here.)

" 'The people' seems to be a term of art used in select parts of the Constitution and contrasts with the words 'person' and 'accused' used in Articles of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments regulating criminal procedures. This suggests that 'the people' refers to a class of persons who are part of a national community or who have otherwise developed sufficient connection with this country to be considered part of that community." [ Supreme Court Majority Opinion in "United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez", 494 U.S. 259 (1990)]

Perhaps your discussions with these professors predated "U.S. v Verdugo-Urquidez". It is also noteworthy that, until 2001, Federal Circuit Courts also used the "collective right" model in deciding the cases they heard. To date, only the Fifth Circuit Court (U.S. v Emerson, 2001) and the District of Columbia Circuit Court (Parker v. District of Columbia, now D.C. v Heller) have utilized the "individual right" model. In toto, that makes 9 circuit courts that have used the "collective right" interpretation, versus 2 that have used the "individual right" interpretation. (One circuit court, I forget which one, has never addressed the issue.)

The "collective right" model is not some weird twisting of gun control advocates, but is based on existing case law. We shall see what the Supreme Court does with the issue, now that they have decided to hear a case that specifically addresses it.

flattop32355
11-21-2007, 10:24 AM
I am particularly pleased and impressed by the tone of the discussion on this subject.

Bully to all concerned.

DaveGink
11-21-2007, 11:44 AM
How about the Supreme Court and the Judges of the Federal Circuit courts? (No, I am not being snide here.)

" 'The people' seems to be a term of art used in select parts of the Constitution and contrasts with the words 'person' and 'accused' used in Articles of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments regulating criminal procedures. This suggests that 'the people' refers to a class of persons who are part of a national community or who have otherwise developed sufficient connection with this country to be considered part of that community." [ Supreme Court Majority Opinion in "United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez", 494 U.S. 259 (1990)]

Perhaps your discussions with these professors predated "U.S. v Verdugo-Urquidez". It is also noteworthy that, until 2001, Federal Circuit Courts also used the "collective right" model in deciding the cases they heard. To date, only the Fifth Circuit Court (U.S. v Emerson, 2001) and the District of Columbia Circuit Court (Parker v. District of Columbia, now D.C. v Heller) have utilized the "individual right" model. In toto, that makes 9 circuit courts that have used the "collective right" interpretation, versus 2 that have used the "individual right" interpretation. (One circuit court, I forget which one, has never addressed the issue.)

The "collective right" model is not some weird twisting of gun control advocates, but is based on existing case law. We shall see what the Supreme Court does with the issue, now that they have decided to hear a case that specifically addresses it.


Except you are looking at modern interpretations. Nothing before the 20th century cited the second amendment was a 'collective right'. And when you dive into the quotes of the framers and their contemporaries, and early Supreme Court rulings, the second amendment was clearly meant to protect an individuals right (that's what the Bill of Rights was all about in the first place) to keep and bear arms. It wasn't until 1939 that that changed in U.S. v. Miller.

Read William Rawle's (United States Attorney apponted by Washington) "A View of the Constitution of the United States of America" (1829), or Justice Joseph Story's (Supreme Court Justice and Harvard Law Preofessor) 1833 "Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States" and you will see clearly that the Second Amendment was meant to protect an INDIVIDUALS rights to keep and bear arms (beyond militia service). And the Tennessee Supreme Court in Andrews v. State (1871) agreed when the used Justice Story's commentaries to write in their opinion: "[this] passage from Story, shows clearly that this right was intended, as we have maintained in this opinion, and was guaranteed to, and to be exercised and enjoyed by the citizen as such, and not by him as a soldier, or in defense solely of his political rights."

So, if Washington D.C., which outlawed individuals from not only having handguns in their homes, but also rifles and shotguns (leaving law-abiding citizens completely defenseless from those criminals that would have weapons), is not a perfect example of why the 2nd Amendment was written into the Bill of Rights (which was written specifically to protect the rights of individuals), and needs defending, I don't know what is.

Banning gun ownership from law abiding citizens (as is the case in D.C.), and leaving 'The People' completely defenseless and reliant upon protection from the government (removing our inalienable right to self defense) IS clearly unconstitutional. When it's just you and the bad guy in your home, you can NOT expect the government to be there to protect you - and the government can not make you reliant upon them for protection. Our founders were adamant about creating a system where power and rights remained with the people, not with the government.

DaveGink
11-21-2007, 12:24 PM
Well, I for one am that rarest of animals, the gun owner who does not have an inherent objection to gun control. I have yet to run across an argument from gun advocates that doesn't go something like this: "If the Government institutes gun control, the next thing you know, they'll be taking all the guns away." As a logical matter, this argument is illogical on its face (the classic "slippery slope" argument)

I'm not sure how you can be saying that is an illogical argument when Washington D.C. had nearly done just that. Which is why the current case is going to be tried in the Supreme Court. It's a valid concern.


For the record, I believe that the 2nd Amendment intended to grant the right to bear arms to the ordinary citizen. That the 2nd Amendment states that the purpose of the right is (arguably, but not very much so) to provide the citizenry with the means to resist their own government is instructive. Considering that way the amendment is written, you have a greater right to own a 81 mm mortar than you do to own a Glock (the former being more conducive to a "well organized militia")

I suspect the framers would agree with you. And would believe that 'the people' should indeed be allowed access to any weapn that the government would also have at their disposal. Trusting 'the people before the government. However, I (and most people I believe) do not feel that is necessary or needed. I personally just want to make sure that I have the weapons on hand to be able to reasonably defend myself from those that would harm me or my family (which the founders also cited as a reason for the second amendment), and to be able to hunt, to reenact, and be able to go to the range. Under the D.C. ban my M1911A1 is illegal (too bad for anyone who reenacts WWII). So would my Remington semi-auto hunting rifle. So would my semi-auto shotgun. It's absurd.


That the Framers could not have expected the results that widespread gun ownership would have in America goes without saying. If pro-gun advocates want to delude themselves into believing there isn't a problem with gun violence in this country, then they are fooling themselves.

The problem is with violence as a whole. Not "gun violence". The issue that needs to be addressed is a culture that creates this violence (not banning or restricting inanimate objects from law-abiding citizens). And in Country's, and those cities right here in the US where guns have been banned or heavily restricted, violent crime has continued or even gotten worse. Washington D.C. banned hand guns in 1975, yet that didn't stop it from being the murder capital of the Country. I believe there is truth to Robert Heinlein's quote "an armed society is a polite society". Some anti-gun people say this would lead to a "wild west". Well, there are many historians here ... read about gun violence in the old west. It was not like what Hollywood portrays. It was extrememly rare for gunfights. Most who could have carried guns didn't, and those that did never pulled them on another human being. Simply owning a gun doesn't automatically turn an otherwise law abiding citizen into a killer. And banning guns from citizens does not stop criminals from getting them or using them. In fact it emboldens them.


Normally unintended results are not a problem, Constitutionally speaking. The Supreme Court has a long history of creating law out of these Amendments, and that is their Consitutional role. These laws are known as "Constitutional penumbra," as they arise from interpretations of the Constitution, rather than the Constitution itself. Probably the best known "penumbral" case is Griswold v. Connecticut, which struck down a Connecticut law prohibiting the sale of contraceptives. In so doing the Court created a "right to privacy", (which does not exist in the Constitution), by noting that while no specific privacy right existed, several other amendments essentially exist to provide basic privacies, enough to conclude that the Framers intended to protect a citizens basic right to (marital, in this case) privacy. It is controversial in that Griswold is the underpinning of Roe v. Wade

How does this apply to the Second Amendment? The Court has never really stated what the Second Amendment provides to the citizen. 130 years ago, the Court's position was than the 2nd Amendment proscription only applied to Federal law. However, I believe the Court has more than enough precedent now to specifically limit the Second Amendment by invoking any number of particular "penumbral" bases like the Fourteenth and Ninth amendments. Will they so find in Heller? I am dying to find out. The "strict constructionists" are likely to have a hard time stating anything other than the 2nd amendment applies to Federal law, thus upholding the D.C. ban, and touching off a political firestorm across the country. Yes, very interesting.

It will be very interseting indeed.

Tarheel57
11-21-2007, 01:12 PM
How about the Supreme Court and the Judges of the Federal Circuit courts? (No, I am not being snide here.)....

...Perhaps your discussions with these professors predated "U.S. v Verdugo-Urquidez". .

The Courts are a separate issue. I was simply noting that the weight of legal scholarship falls in favor of an Individual right, not a collective right, to bear arms. Whether the courts choose to take this scholarship into account is another ballgame.
My discussions with professors were more of an aside, as I based my observations on research itself from publications, journals, etc. not them. We discussed the original intent ofthe Framers, not case law. The interesting thing is that many legal scholars who have written on the subject are personally anti-gun, and admit that they are uncomfortable with the "individual right", yet they were professional enough to base their findings on the evidence, not their personal preference. Gary Kleck was the same way. He was anti-gun and set out to show that "guns are bad". But when his research indicated the opposite, he simply published what he found. He was astounded at the vicious personal attacks that the anti-gun lobby subsequently leveled at him.

tompritchett
11-21-2007, 01:24 PM
Originally Posted by Milliron
For the record, I believe that the 2nd Amendment intended to grant the right to bear arms to the ordinary citizen. That the 2nd Amendment states that the purpose of the right is (arguably, but not very much so) to provide the citizenry with the means to resist their own government is instructive. Considering that way the amendment is written, you have a greater right to own a 81 mm mortar than you do to own a Glock (the former being more conducive to a "well organized militia")

I suspect the framers would agree with you. And would believe that 'the people' should indeed be allowed access to any weapn that the government would also have at their disposal. Trusting 'the people before the government. However, I (and most people I believe) do not feel that is necessary or needed. I personally just want to make sure that I have the weapons on hand to be able to reasonably defend myself from those that would harm me or my family (which the founders also cited as a reason for the second amendment), and to be able to hunt, to reenact, and be able to go to the range. Under the D.C. ban my M1911A1 is illegal (too bad for anyone who reenacts WWII). So would my Remington semi-auto hunting rifle. So would my semi-auto shotgun. It's absurd.

Personally, I like the way that the Swiss do it. Every law abiding citizen of Switzerland is given military training with an military individual or crew served weapon, which they then take home with them with ammunition. Each year, they are then issued additional ammunition for training and are required to take the weapon to a training range for practice. Needless to say, the combination of superb defensive terrain and a full populace armed to the teeth make Switzerland a nation whose neutrality everyone truly respects and a national where its leaders truly respect the will of the people. I also suspect, that the founding fathers would have considered such a national policy to be very much in the same spirit as our Second Amendment.

DaveGink
11-21-2007, 02:25 PM
Personally, I like the way that the Swiss do it. Every law abiding citizen of Switzerland is given military training with an military individual or crew served weapon, which they then take home with them with ammunition. Each year, they are then issued additional ammunition for training and are required to take the weapon to a training range for practice. Needless to say, the combination of superb defensive terrain and a full populace armed to the teeth make Switzerland a nation whose neutrality everyone truly respects and a national where its leaders truly respect the will of the people. I also suspect, that the founding fathers would have considered such a national policy to be very much in the same spirit as our Second Amendment.

I agree.

Switzerland is a Nation filled with guns. Where kids grow up with them. You see town shooting competitions and shooting ranges everywhere. Rifles hanging in restaurants while people eat, or being carried by people riding bycicles or walking cown the street. Yet, they have very, very low rates of violent crime, armed robbery and murder (or school shootings). Compare that to England where guns are banned, yet violent crime is high. Interesting isn't it. ;)

jthlmnn
11-22-2007, 01:07 AM
The Courts are a separate issue. I was simply noting that the weight of legal scholarship falls in favor of an Individual right, not a collective right, to bear arms. Whether the courts choose to take this scholarship into account is another ballgame.
My discussions with professors were more of an aside, as I based my observations on research itself from publications, journals, etc. not them. We discussed the original intent ofthe Framers, not case law. The interesting thing is that many legal scholars who have written on the subject are personally anti-gun, and admit that they are uncomfortable with the "individual right", yet they were professional enough to base their findings on the evidence, not their personal preference. Gary Kleck was the same way. He was anti-gun and set out to show that "guns are bad". But when his research indicated the opposite, he simply published what he found. He was astounded at the vicious personal attacks that the anti-gun lobby subsequently leveled at him.

I take your point and cannot agree or disagree with it, as I have no idea what the the majority of legal scholars have to say. (That would be a different piece of research.) Nor do I doubt the sincerity or integrity of legal scholars on either side of the issue. From my perspective, the opinions of legal scholars can be informative, interesting, and even fun. Supreme Court decisions, however, are where "the rubber meets the road". (Anyone else remember that jingle?) Each Supreme Court decision disappoints one set of scholars or another, and sometimes both. After all, if an issue was totally clear, it would not need to be heard by the Supreme Court.

Tarheel57
11-23-2007, 12:22 AM
I take your point and cannot agree or disagree with it, as I have no idea what the the majority of legal scholars have to say. (That would be a different piece of research.) Nor do I doubt the sincerity or integrity of legal scholars on either side of the issue. From my perspective, the opinions of legal scholars can be informative, interesting, and even fun. Supreme Court decisions, however, are where "the rubber meets the road". (Anyone else remember that jingle?) Each Supreme Court decision disappoints one set of scholars or another, and sometimes both. After all, if an issue was totally clear, it would not need to be heard by the Supreme Court.

An interesting study was the 1982 "The Right to Keep and Bear Arms" which was commissioned by the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the committee on the Judiciary of the US Senate. I have a copy packed away, I have to look for it now! It might even be on the net somewhere.

tompritchett
11-23-2007, 01:07 AM
It might even be on the net somewhere.

It is.
http://www.constitution.org/mil/rkba1982.htm

DaveGink
11-23-2007, 12:23 PM
It is.
http://www.constitution.org/mil/rkba1982.htm

Excellent read. Thanks for posting that!

dustyswb
11-25-2007, 09:40 PM
The problem is with violence as a whole. Not "gun violence". The issue that needs to be addressed is a culture that creates this violence (not banning or restricting inanimate objects from law-abiding citizens). And in Country's, and those cities right here in the US where guns have been banned or heavily restricted, violent crime has continued or even gotten worse. Washington D.C. banned hand guns in 1975, yet that didn't stop it from being the murder capital of the Country. I believe there is truth to Robert Heinlein's quote "an armed society is a polite society". Some anti-gun people say this would lead to a "wild west". Well, there are many historians here ... read about gun violence in the old west. It was not like what Hollywood portrays. It was extrememly rare for gunfights. Most who could have carried guns didn't, and those that did never pulled them on another human being. Simply owning a gun doesn't automatically turn an otherwise law abiding citizen into a killer. And banning guns from citizens does not stop criminals from getting them or using them. In fact it emboldens them.

Dave,

I'm not sure what news you get in WI with regard to DC, but I live in Arlington, VA and work in DC. The vast majority of gun related crime that you see on the news and read in the police blotters around here are warring gangs and drug related, luckily not involving "innocent" victims.

Not sure how someone owning a legal gun would help to end this type of violence. Criminals will have guns whether they license them or not. But it might help to give law enforcement another tool (gun licensing) to tracking guns.

Again, I'm not against gun ownership, I just feel that owners should be required to have a license (safety and shooting test).

As to your argument, "....would believe that 'the people' should indeed be allowed access to any weapn that the government would also have at their disposal." That's ludicrous.

jthlmnn
11-26-2007, 12:25 AM
An interesting study was the 1982 "The Right to Keep and Bear Arms" which was commissioned by the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the committee on the Judiciary of the US Senate. I have a copy packed away, I have to look for it now! It might even be on the net somewhere.


it is. http://www.constitution.org/mil/rkba1982.htm

Tom,

Is there a way to access the entire report via the web? Whats available via the link you provided (thank you for that) ends with the section on Federal Enforcement of Firearms Laws and then notes "other sections omitted".

Brent Wood
11-28-2007, 09:40 AM
Post 100 Yeaaaa!!

tompritchett
11-28-2007, 04:29 PM
Post 100 Yeaaaa!!

Apparently some people are easily assumed. :)

DaveGink
12-02-2007, 07:48 AM
Dave,

I'm not sure what news you get in WI with regard to DC, but I live in Arlington, VA and work in DC. The vast majority of gun related crime that you see on the news and read in the police blotters around here are warring gangs and drug related, luckily not involving "innocent" victims.

Not sure how someone owning a legal gun would help to end this type of violence. Criminals will have guns whether they license them or not. But it might help to give law enforcement another tool (gun licensing) to tracking guns.

Again, I'm not against gun ownership, I just feel that owners should be required to have a license (safety and shooting test).

As to your argument, "....would believe that 'the people' should indeed be allowed access to any weapn that the government would also have at their disposal." That's ludicrous.

You must have missed that I was not advocating that the people actually have access to any weapon that the government has. However my point was (by their own words) that the framers DID believe that. They made it clear that they trusted weapons in the hands of the citizens above that of the government - and that power should remain with the people and not the government. Since self-defense is an inalienable right that we have to be able to preserve our rights of "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness". And this includes from our own government. If the people are not able to do that because of government restrictions, the government has violated that right. So my point was that the framers intent should be strongly considered in this debate.

And this is not about "someone owning a legal gun helping to end gang or drug violence". It's about people being able to (and having the right) to protect themselves and their families when and if the time arises. And your point about gun crime in Arlington being based on gangs or drugs makes my point; It's the law abiding people that suffer from the gun bans and restrictions -- not the criminals. As you yourself point out, the criminals still have guns. And just because gun violence in your area is due to gangs and drug violence doesn't change one iota that the people have a right to self defense and to keep and bear arms. Because the Police can not (and should not) be relied upon for self defense. They are always there AFTER the fact.

That all said, I do believe that 'the people' (through our system of government) have the power, for the good of society, to place reasonable restrictions on rights, and in some cases (like prison and the death penalty) revoke them completely. As long as the laws and restrictions on rights are applied equally to all.

As to your belief that gun owners should be safety tested and licensed to be able to own a gun, you are free to believe and to argue for that, however I do not agree. I see little evidence that is necessary, and would only add to the erosion of the individuals right to keep and bear arms. Add obstacles to an individuals inalienable right to self defense (especially when an intruder is likely to be armed). Adds one more infringement on our right to privacy, and to be secure in our own homes. Takes us one step closer towards a 'nanny state'. Places government regulation above individual rights and responsibility. Increases the size and scope of the government giving them even more power. And will not hinder criminals from getting guns in the least. So your point about the police is moot. The police do not need to worry about (or track) guns in the hands of law abiding people - but from criminals. And your suggestion restricts rights and punishes the the former, and doesn't change anything with regards to the later.

dustyswb
12-03-2007, 02:25 AM
Ok Dave. You win. You're right, I'm wrong. Enjoy the bunker

DaveGink
12-03-2007, 04:23 AM
Ok Dave. You win. You're right, I'm wrong. Enjoy the bunker

Huh?????

That was a really ignorant comment and completely misrepresents what I've been saying.

Have you actually been reading my posts? Or are you just reading INTO them what you believe I'm saying? I think I've been pretty clear and it hardly equates to what you are implying.

Regardless, when you resort to that type of comment, I am indeed through discussing this with you. Because I've obviously been wasting my valuable time.

RJSamp
12-05-2007, 09:30 AM
Huh?????

That was a really ignorant comment and completely misrepresents what I've been saying.

Have you actually been reading my posts? Or are you just reading INTO them what you believe I'm saying? I think I've been pretty clear and it hardly equates to what you are implying.

Regardless, when you resort to that type of comment, I am indeed through discussing this with you. Because I've obviously been wasting my valuable time.

Try discussing the cost of being authentic with Mike.....

Authentic:
Fatigue Blouse: $150
Knit Socks: $30
Cotton Shirt: $90
Defarbed Musket bought used: $400
Borrow everything else.
$670

Mainstream:
Fatigue Blouse: $85
Frock Coat: $350
Over Coat: $350
Misc. $1,000 musket, accoutrements, A Tent, trowsers, geegaws, cap
Skillets, Grates, coolers: $215
Lamborghini Miura: $150,000
Total: $152,000

See, it's cheaper to go authentic.