Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.
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Sunday, May 1, 2011

NRA=Second Amendment?

It has occurred to me that the NRA had made itself synonymous with the 2nd Amendment so that any time someone opposes the policies or statements of the gun lobby, they automatically then oppose the 2nd amendment. It's clever and it's worked so far. But the gun lobby has now become so extreme that even some of their own have backed away and are no longer members. It has become an almost religious fervor presented by those on the side of gun rights. Believe or else!! For instance, check out this scary article about what the 2nd amendment really is according to a man who is scary enough to be of concern to anyone with common sense.

Others are catching on to this abrogation of the truth. Here is a great editorial by a Pittsburgh police officer written in anticipation of the NRA convention held in Pittsburgh this week. And this one from a former NRA member says the same. The NRA has become an organization that is there to serve itself. Guns are deadly weapons. Can we have some agreement that we need to stop the shootings? There are a few simple ways to do that. And really, folks, it won't affect you or your perceived God given unfettered rights to your guns. Newt Gingrich disagrees and tries to re-write history about the second amendment. There is no way we should take his words seriously because it is just not true no matter how you look at it. From his speech at the NRA convention now ending in Pittsburgh, "“The right to bear arms is a political right designed to safeguard freedom so that no government can take away from you the rights that God has given you..."


Whether or not you believe in God, one thing I know for sure is that guns were not invented at the time that the God most believe in "created" the earth and human beings. To try to make it seem as if God has something to do with gun rights is disingenuous at best and false at worst. If one criticizes the policies or statements of the NRA, then one doesn't believe in the Second Amendment. If one advocates for common sense policies to try to reduce and prevent senseless shootings, one is automatically against the second amendment. These are ridiculous arguments that don't even make sense. But somehow the NRA and it's lackeys have convinced some in this country that they must not even discuss gun policy or they are against the second amendment. And so, the NRA goes about it's business of encouraging more people to buy guns and own guns and carry them everywhere. The organization raises money not only from its' members but from the gun manufacturers. The NRA represents a minority of Americans and an increasingly small minority.

It's time to get back to being reasonable and discussing issues without the ever present insertion of the second amendment in all conversations about gun policy. The recent Supreme Court decisions in Heller and McDonald made it clear that any notion of taking away guns ( though that is not what gun control advocates are asking for in spite of what the gun lobby claims) is off the table. Get over it, gun lobby, and come to the table of common sense. If the NRA admits this truth, however, what have they got to fight for? If they admit that we are not about to nor actually able to take away guns or rights- we just want to stop the shootings- then what are they all about anyway?

It's time to stop calling people who oppose the all powerful gun lobby liars just because they have a different opinion. That is a tactic and it works for some but it's a sham.The rude, derogatory, ugly and shameless attacks on victims and and those of us who dare to differ about gun policy bespeak volumes about the paranoia and fear that has overtaken the gun rights movement. Most Americans know this but they feel helpless to do anything about the problem of the ubiquitous gun deaths and the power of the NRA in our country. It's such an American problem. It's like apple pie and motherhood. If God gave gun rights to people, then people in other countries who also believe in the same God would have the same rights. Isn't it interesting that they just don't see it that way? I guess their God didn't tell them that it was O.K. to walk around with a gun on your hip under the guise of self defense and the second amendment. The NRA has cleverly wrapped itself in patriotism and American values as common as motherhood and apple pie. The rest of us, to them, are not patriotic, don't have the same American values as they espouse and are gun grabbers simply because we believe in something different and disagree with the NRA.

My values tell me that it is just plain wrong to continue policies that allow people who shouldn't have guns to get them anyway. My values tell me that people simply don't need to be carrying guns around in public places. That is not the America I believe in. My values tell me that it's wrong to shoot another human being. Statistics point to the very American problem of gun violence not seen in any other civilized country not at war. We have a serious problem in this country that deserves serious discussion but we can't have it as long as the NRA refuses to think past it's own existence. Hypocrisy as far as the eye can see......

45 comments:

  1. "My values tell me that it's wrong to shoot another human being. "

    Even in self-defense?
    b

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  2. Who would Jesus shoot, Newt?

    A scary article indeed. The "insurrectionist" interpretation of the second amendment is dead wrong. Our government did not write it in order to give our people a means of overthrowing them. It's a ridiculous assertion meant to justify the paranoia of those who push it.

    That's a great article by the Pittsburgh police detective. He's right: the only solution the NRA puts out to stop gun violence is to buy more guns. They actively oppose any method to stop criminals from getting guns in the first place.

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  3. "Newt Gingrich disagrees and tries to re-write history about the second amendment. " REALLY???? How about these quotes from our founding fathers?

    James Madison Annals of Congress 434, June 8, 1789
    It may well be doubted whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Besides the advantage of being armed, it forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. The governments of Europe are afraid to trust the people with arms. If they did, the people would surely shake off the yoke of tyranny, as America did. Let us not insult the free and gallant citizens of America with the suspicion that they would be less able to defend the rights of which they would be in actual possession than the debased subjects of arbitrary power would be to rescue theirs from the hands of their oppressors."- (think this covers you comment about the rest of the world as well)

    Tenche Coxe Pennsylvania Federal Gazette on June 18, 1789

    The militia of these free commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army, must be tremendous and irresistible. 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.

    The militia, who are in fact the effective part of the people at large, will render many troops quite unnecessary. They will form a powerful check upon the regular troops, and will generally be sufficient to over-awe them.

    Whereas civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as 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 article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.


    "It's time to stop calling people who oppose the all powerful gun lobby liars just because they have a different opinion." Actually this goes both ways. You refuse to acknowledge that there have been any untruths put forward by the anti-rights people like the Brady Campaign, VPC, & etc but you are quick to accuse Newt of "rewrite history." Isn't that an accusation of lying? You are very touchy about that subject but I have yet to see a retraction of your comments about 1467 doing away with the annual check.

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  4. "Whether or not you believe in God, one thing I know for sure is that guns were not invented at the time that the God most believe in "created" the earth and human beings. To try to make it seem as if God has something to do with gun rights is disingenuous at best and false at worst"

    One of the philosophies upon which our nation was created was that there are natural rights or God given rights and there are rights that are given by law. John Locke wrote extensively about this and he said the natural rights are Life, Liberty and Property. This was expressed in the Declaration of Independence as "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness..."

    Because we have a natural or "God Given" right to life we have the right to protect that life. We believe that because we have a right to protect our life we have a right to the means to do so.

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  5. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the date today is May 1, 2011, anon.

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  6. I don't agree with that philosopy, anon. One does not lead to the other. If we do indeed have natural God given rights, the right to protect them is up for interpretation as to the methods used. Life is surely a right. I am trying to save lives by preventing the taking of them.

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  7. So, japete, what specific common sense policies do you favor to prevent gun deaths, to keep guns out of the hand of people that should not have them?

    I know you are against the NRA, so how about a statement of what you are for.

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  8. "I don't agree with that philosopy, anon." I really didn't think you would. I was replying to "Whether or not you believe in God, one thing I know for sure is that guns were not invented at the time that the God most believe in "created" the earth and human beings. To try to make it seem as if God has something to do with gun rights is disingenuous at best and false at worst"

    I gave you the basis upon which the term "God Given" came from.

    What does today's date have to do with anything? You said Newt rewrote the history of the second amendment. I showed that his is the actual history. You may not like it, you may feel that it no longer applies, but he was right.

    This is why it is so frustrating trying to converse with you. You make a statement, someone counters that with facts and you either don't publish them, or through in a non sequitor like today's date or just say "I don't believe you."

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  9. Come on LCC- you know very well what I am for. I specifically state what I am for over and over on this blog so quit harassing me with your provacative questions.

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  10. "God given rights, the right to protect them is up for interpretation as to the methods used."

    No really. Simple logic says that the methods MUST be commensurate with the force available to those that would deny that right or the right is unenforceable.

    "My values tell me that people simply don't need to be carrying guns around in public places."

    What you oppose is the law abiding having access to force that is the equal of the criminals.

    The consequence of your values is that you would leave the elderly and infirm at the mercy of the young. The one at the mercy of the gang and anyone seeking to go about their daily life in PEACE at the mercy of those that would use violence.

    A firearm puts a 110lb woman on equal footing with a 230lb rapist/murderer or a gang intent on the same.. Since you would DENY her that right please tell me your "interpretation as to the methods" that protects her RIGHT TO LIFE at the time of the crime.

    You want common sense? Then propose something that protects a disabled man from being beaten and robbed.

    To me, this is the fallacy of your values. Somehow your values tell you that law abiding people cannot be trusted in public with a firearm but you acknowledge that the existing laws do not prevent those that should not have them from obtaining them. The consequence of you values is that you are willing to sacrifice the innocent to the criminal or insane to make you FEEL safer regardless of the cost to others.

    Now turn it around. As a law abiding man carrying a firearm I pose NO threat to anyone that would deal with me in a civilized manner.
    Only those that would use violence to attempt to FORCE their will on me or attack my loved ones need fear.

    You have a better solution? Let's hear it.

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  11. I need to remind you that the statements you made above are your opinions 18Echo and not statements of fact. It's great, though, that you can get inside my head and tell me what my words mean. I meant exactly what I wrote and not what you surmise I wrote. You have certainly read a lot of your own fears into my words. If you can find exactly where I said what you wrote above, go for it. Since I didn't write any of what you said I wrote, that makes your statements based totally on false assumptions.

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  12. SO asking a simple question on what you believe is provocative? give me a break.


    Yes the date is may 1, 2011, but truth does not go out of date, nor does it matter when reasoned discussion was made, its still wise to pay attention. After all, those thoughts were put to paper 200 plus years ago, just as your Bible was some 2000 years ago, your Aristotle and Plato were written some 3000 years ago, and so on. Just because its old, does not mean its out of date.

    The phrase the Founders used in the Constitution was "arms". They did not specify cannon, or musket, or sword or cutlass, they specified "arms" for a very good reason, they knew that progress would soon make their devices obsolete, and they made an allowance for that in their writing.

    You take a shot at Gingrich, and quote a snippet, here is a larger sample.
    "“The right to bear arms is not about hunting. It’s not about target practice,” he said to applause. “The right to bear arms is a political right designed to safeguard freedom so that no government can take away from you the rights that God has given you, and it [was] written by people who had spent their lifetime fighting the greatest empire in the world and they knew that if they had not had the right to bear arms, they would have been enslaved. And they did not want us to be enslaved. And that is why they guaranteed us the right to protect ourselves. It is a political right of the deepest importance to the survival of freedom in America.”

    (Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0411/53942.html#ixzz1L8Utt3lx)

    Please find one word in there which is a mis-statement. Please find one word in there which is a deviation from the intent of the founding fathers.


    Why do you keep beating the dead horse that the NRA gets donations business's associated with firearms, hunting and shooting sports? I am quite sure the AMA gets monies (in the form of ad sales, mailing list sells, and other forms)from drug companies, medical supply houses and others. I am quite sure the ABA gets monies from book publishers, business machine makers and financial services vendors. Suggesting ethical misdeeds because business people are concerned with supporting the mouthpiece of their area of business is ludicrous.

    The anti gun side has lost the ethical high ground, which they usurped thru mistatements and journalistic malfeasance by the MSM. The ethical High Ground has return to those who speak the truth and do not try to undermine the Constitution.

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  13. The whole article is full of false statements and outright lies by Gingrich. They are his opinions and not based on fact.

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  14. You all keep sending me quotes and excerpts from founding fathers or brothers or whoever we want to call them. Thanks. They are illuminating. They are also their musings and opinions as they thought about what should go into the constitution and how our country should be. They were written more than 200 years ago. I submit to you that the world has changed significantly since then. What they ended up with in the Constitution was a compromise of the various opinions of the men of that time period. They did a darned good job of crafting a document that forms the basis for our countries laws. So what I go by is what is actually in the Constitution. You all have a right to bear arms for what you want to use them for. Not everybody has the equal right, however. That has been determined by our Congress and the legal system over many years. It is clear that the rights are not unfettered. There are some restrictions. If not, what kind of country would we have today? Some people should not have guns. That is why we need to have some restrictions. The world is very different regarding "arms" than it was in the early 1800s. So when you send me this stuff, you will just have to realize that though I find it interesting, it is not the law of the land. It is the writings of a lot of people, some of which ended up in law, others of which didn't. You can follow those to the letter if you want but most people choose to follow the Constitution's words, as written and obey the laws, as they have been enacted by our Congres and states over many years. Luckily we have seen that times change and laws need to change to accomodate the times.

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  15. Excuse my grammar- for our country's laws.

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  16. "Some people should not have guns."

    Except your version of "some people" boils down to practically everyone.

    I'm a competitive shooter who has no criminal background, but evidently you think I am part of that vaguely-defined group of "some people" since you wish to deny me the right to purchase and use an AR15 for competitive shooting.

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  17. "It is clear that the rights are not unfettered. There are some restrictions. If not, what kind of country would we have today? Some people should not have guns. That is why we need to have some restrictions."

    We do have restrictions and lots of them. Felons, the insane, we even restrict those that are ACCUSED of domestic violence or (at least in my state) or have a restraining order against them. I think that pretty much covers those that should not have guns so we don't need any additional restrictions in terms of people. We just need to do a much better job of enforcement. You will find a lot of allies on the 'gun' side if you focus on criminals. Where you lose us is, once we have passed all those background checks, we think that the restrictions on us should be minimal. As close to non existent as possible. We don't want to hear "no one needs blah, blah, blah..." because we don't believe that any legislation should be based on someone else's opinion of what we 'need' and don't need when it comes to an enumerated right. That's why when your side calls for "common sense compromise' you end up wondering why there are no takers and we seem so inflexible. We dig in our heals because we reject the very premise. We know that as soon as we grant the concept that "need" is the determining factor on the extent of right it is no longer a right, it is a privilege granted on denied based on political favor.

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  18. How did sales of AR 15s get into the discussion? I don't recall mentioning preventing anyone from buying one, least of all you. You are really paranoid. Take it easy, for Pete's sake.

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  19. I just received the absolute worst comment I have ever received on my blog. It will not be printed but I am going to try to find out who sent it. Whoever sent it, you are not welcome on this blog. Go away.

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  20. Comments on this post will be shut down due to 2 nasty, sexual, offensive comments. You guys had better monitor yourselves. Some of you give a whole lot of you a bad name. If you want to be taken seriously, I suggest you start being more polite and cease your ugly remarks. It does you no good.

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  21. I would like to share with my readers this classy blog from one of my commenters- Pat from Minnesota- nice guy huh? http://www.angelsfeartotread.com/

    Note that though Pat ( I know his last name and how to find him by the way) puts out a disclaimer that he is not reponsible for any sexual remarks, he is quick to call me "pro criminal" I say that Pat is about as classless as they come. These are the kinds of comments that point to the immaturity, paranoia and general lack of anything close to concern about the real issues. What a shame that he sees fit to call me names and generally demean everything I say. It is a tactic but in the end, he will have to be held responsible for all of his attacks on a person who is just trying to reduce gun injuries and deaths. Pat, you are disgusting. There are no other words.

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  22. japete, You sure seem to bring it out of them. I agree with you that it is provocative to ask sweeping question like "what DO you believe in," when you've answered it over and over again in many different ways. That's one of their tactics.

    Tha antagonism you elicit is a great feather in your cap. Imagine if guys like these agreed with you.

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  23. Anyone who asks for laws that would further restrict citizens from defending themselves against criminals that prey on them, by definition, is for the criminal (pro-criminal). If you don't like the name, stop acting like it. THAT is disgusting.

    I do not hide myself Joan. I have no doubt you "can find me". I don't block comments. My blog is attached to my facebook account.

    I have never "attacked" you. I have "attacked" your ideas. And I have logged your comment as a threat because it appears that you want to find me.

    And since you still defend Mikeb302000, who *admitted* he is a felon by having illegal guns and will not answer to what he did with those weapons, you are guilty by association. You harbor and defend criminals.

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  24. The problem with all these quotes about the Second Amendment is that they are taken out of context.

    First off, the Second Amendment would be one of the most "statist" portions of the Constitution in that it REQUIRES militia duty from its citizens to be applicable.

    This is the enrolled or incorporated militia (active) v. an unorganised, reserve, sedentary, or whatever you wish to call the non-enrolled body. The Unorganised militia is the same as having a draft card--it does not make one a member of the militia. One needs to be enrolled to be considered a member of the militia.

    The militia is technically a universal force, but that would impose quite a burden on the male population since it would find itself liable to serve if there were a conflict. That would mean quite a bit of everyday business would not get done since everyone would be serving in the militia.

    Likewise, Well regulated means precisely that--under government control. No military body can be "independent of, and superior to the civil power".

    Even when the militias rebelled in the War for Independence, they were under the control of the rebel legislatures.

    The Militia is distinct to the Regular Army in that the militia is a civilian (amateur) force and the Regular Army is a professional body. It is the fact that the Militia is an amateur body which made it preferable to professional soldiers for defence. As I said earlier, people would have to leave their sources of livelihood to fight. In theory, that meant that the nation would not be warlike.

    In fact, the Militia system envisioned by the founders is the same as the Swiss military. A small professional force which is tasked with training and administration (the regular army) and the larger defense force, which is part time soldiers. The part time soldiers are called out in times of national emergency.

    The so-called ”militia man”, in times of crisis, left his civilian duties and responsibilities behind and became a soldier until the emergency was over. Militia service was involuntary, but the alternative to service might have been worse. So people cooperated, albeit reluctantly. The Second Amendment implies government compulsion to serve as an enrolled member in the Militia.

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  25. previous comment continued--


    Additionally, the belief was that militia training would instill civic values. Because moral philosophers in the eighteenth century sought to create government institutions that were representative of the character and interests of society, they questioned the institution of the professional army. These philosophers did not attack the internal structure of armies, but rather recommended maintaining a citizen militia in order to diminish the army’s prominence in society. They believed that militia promoted a healthy interchange of qualities between citizens and government. Additionally, the militia units were locally raised. Thus, there would be more control over the militia than a professional army.

    I would also add that Militia units are not just made up of infantry, but would include other branches of land forces (e.g., Cavalry and Artillery). So, one might find oneself attached to an artillery battery instead of an infantry unit. That would mean that the term arms means precisely that arms used by the military.

    That said, there are more than enough quotes that point to the fact that the Constitution must be interpreted as a whole. One cannot pick and choose which portion most suits one's desires. That said, the right mentioned in the Second Amendment is related to service as a member in the enrolled militia.

    The entire text of the Second Amendment was made with the obvious purpose to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of the forces created under authority of Article 1, Section 8, Clause 16. It must be interpreted and applied in consideration of that purpose. Without evidence that possession or use of a ‘shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length’ is reasonably related to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. The fact that such a weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment of the body organised under Article 1, Section 8, Clause 16 of the Constitution or that its use and possession would contribute to the common defense is not enough as there needs to be a showing that it was required for those duties.

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  26. I neglected to make clear that the evil that the Second and Third Amendments were designed to protect against was the establishment of a standing army.

    If our friend who likes to quote the founders would notice that they pretty much mention the evils of a standing army.

    usually cite to The Address and Reasons of Dissent of the Minority of the Convention of Pennsylvania to their Constituents, December 12, 1787 when I want to demonstrate “personal right” language being used in the debate over the “right to arms”. If one reads the actual document, one finds the issue of the federal standing army is the real concern, not personal “gun rights”:

    From the foregoing investigation, it appears that the Congress under this constitution will not possess the confidence of the people, which is an essential requisite in a good government; for unless the laws command the confidence and respect of the great body of the people, so as to induce them to support them, when called on by the civil magistrate, they must be executed by the aid of a numerous standing army, which would be inconsistent with every idea of liberty; for the same force that may be employed to compel obedience to good laws, might and probably would be used to wrest from the people their constitutional liberties. The framers of this constitution appear to have been aware of this great deficiency; to have been sensible that no dependence could be placed on the people for their support: but on the contrary, that the government must be executed by force. They have therefore made a provision for this purpose in a permanent STANDING ARMY, and a MILITIA that may be subjected to as strict discipline and government

    A standing army in the hands of a government placed so independent of the people, may be made a fatal instrument to overturn the public liberties; it may be employed to enforce the collection of the most oppressive taxes, and to carry into execution the most arbitrary measures. An ambitious man who may have the army at his devotion, may step up into the throne, and seize upon absolute power.

    The absolute unqualified command that Congress have over the militia may be made instrumental to the destruction of all liberty, both public and private; whether of a personal, civil or religious nature.

    First, the personal liberty of every man probably from sixteen to sixty years of age, may be destroyed by the power Congress have in organizing and governing of the militia. As militia they may be subjected to fines to any amount, levied in a military manner; they may be subjected to corporal punishments of the most disgraceful and humiliating kind, and to death itself, by the sentence of a court martial: To this our young men will be more immediately subjected, as a select militia, composed of them, will best answer the purposes of government.

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  27. Last comment continued--

    Secondly, the rights of conscience may be violated, as there is no exemption of those persons who are conscientiously scrupulous of bearing arms. These compose a respectable proportion of the community in the state. This is the more remarkable, because even when the distresses of the late war, and the evident disaffection of many citizens of that description, inflamed our passions, and when every person, who was obliged to risque his own life, must have been exasperated against such as on any account kept back from the common danger, yet even then, when outrage and violence might have been expected, the rights of conscience were held sacred.

    At this momentous crisis, the framers of our state constitution made the most express and decided declaration and stipulations in favour of the rights of conscience: but now when no necessity exists, those dearest rights of men are left insecure.

    Thirdly, the absolute command of Congress over the militia may be destructive of public liberty; for under the guidance of an arbitrary government, they may be made the unwilling instruments of tyranny. The militia of Pennsylvania may be marched to New England or Virginia to quell an insurrection occasioned by the most galling oppression, and aided by the standing army, they will no doubt be successful in subduing the* liberty and independency; but in so doing, although the magnanimity of the* minds will be extinguished, yet the meaner passions of resentment and revenge will be increased, and these in turn will be the ready and obedient instruments of despotism to enslave the others; and that with an irritated vengeance. Thus may the militia be made the instruments of crushing the last efforts of expiring liberty, of riveting the chains of despotism on their fellow citizens, and on one another. This power can be exercised not only without violating the constitution, but in strict conformity with it; it is calculated for this express purpose, and will doubtless be executed accordingly.


    My theory is that there was a fear that laws regarding hunting and personal uses could be used to disarm the militia, which was the intent of these proposed rights to arms. Even this text allows for the public to be disarmed “for crimes committed, or real danger of public injury from individuals”. Thus whatever right existed was far more connected to the militia duty than to any personal uses that were mentioned.

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  28. well you were on a roll until your first real point as the Supreme court seems to disagree with your reading of the prefatory clause.

    from District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) 554 U.S. __, 128 S.Ct. 2783, 171 L.Ed.2d 637
    Plaintiff’s interpretation is correct. The prefatory clause, rather than limiting the operative clause grammatically, announces a purpose, and logic dictates that there be a link between the stated purpose and the operative clause’s command. Thus, the prefatory clause may resolve an ambiguity in the operative clause, but, apart from that clarifying function, the prefatory clause does not limit or expand the scope of the operative clause.

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  29. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms and state vs. federal control of the militia were both concerns, during the ratification debates, but they were two separate concerns.

    Two different amendments were proposed, one dealing the the RKBA and the other with the militia. One passed Congress, and was later ratified. The other did not pass Congress.

    During the debates in Congress, there was a motion in the Senate to add to modify the article that was to become the 2nd Amendment, by adding the words "for the common defense". That proposal was voted down.

    It's abundantly clear that the language of the 2nd amendment was intended to, and was generally understood at the time, to protect an individual right.

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  30. Laci has long ago drank of the Kool-Aid and is capable of regurgitating her rote memorization of the party line on cue. The militia/ collective right view of the 2A is the only gun control argument she trots out, based solely on a misinterpretation of one historical example and roundly refuted by the entire SCOTUS in the Heller decision (which she is also too oblivious to comprehend).

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  31. Anonymous, believe it or not, the majority opinion of DC v. Heller got it WRONG.

    Scalia's originalism means that his interpretation was original with him in this case. In the case you mention, Scalia ignored the guidence given by Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803):

    as It cannot be presumed that any clause in the constitution is intended to be without effect; and therefore such a construction is inadmissible, unless the words require it.

    None of the words in the Constitution are without force and effect, except those superseded by amendments, unless such amendments are repealed. Except for the statement of purpose in the preamble, every word was intended by the Framers to be legally normative, and not just advisory, declaratory, aspirational, or exhortatory. Verba intelligi ut aliquid operantur debent. Words should be interpreted to give them some effect.

    Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.–James Madison

    Scalia used his personal bias and original judicial style rather than actual precedent.

    I would remind you that the interpretation that I mention was the one given by the dissent.

    It is the proper interpretation that will bear the tests of time and intellectual scrutiny.

    Jdege, you are denying history as I have given you a quote from "your side" that contradicts your position.

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  32. I will add a couple of points about the Heller-McDonald decisions.

    First off, the Second Amendment does not specifically mention self-defence, but it does mention the militia. Scalia came up for criticism of doing the same thing he criticises the Roe v Wade line of cases of doing.

    Likewise, Silberman's refusal to follow precedent (Sandidge v. United States, 520 A.2d 1057 (D.C. 1987)) sets the precedent that following Judicial decisions is optional.

    Quite frankly, there is no reason a judge who feels as strongly as I do that the Supreme Court's intellectual dishonesty in the Heller-McDonald decisions is wrong should follow those decisions.

    That would leave them with the Minority opinions of Heller-McDonald and the way US v Miller was interpreted for over 70 years:

    The entire text of the Second Amendment was made with the obvious purpose to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of the forces created under authority of Article 1, Section 8, Clause 16. It must be interpreted and applied in consideration of that purpose. Without evidence that possession or use of a ‘shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length’ is reasonably related to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. The fact that such a weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment of the body organised under Article 1, Section 8, Clause 16 of the Constitution or that its use and possession would contribute to the common defense is not enough as there needs to be a showing that it was required for those duties.

    That

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  33. That sound we heard was LACI beating his dead horse yet again. His tired collective rights rambling that was invented in the 1970's has been shot down by the Supreme Court but "they got it wrong". LACI will be a lot happier when he admits he is very, very wrong and moves on with his life.

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  34. "Jdege, you are denying history as I have given you a quote from "your side" that contradicts your position."

    Your quote only demonstrates that control over the militia was a concern. And there's no argument that it was. But it was a separate issue from the RKBA, and its resolution was addressed in a proposed amendment that was separate from the one that became the 2nd Amendment.

    All of this "the second was about control of the militia" argument falls flat on its face once you recognize that there was another proposed amendment that specifically addressed the control of the militia. It was this other amendment, that was not ratified, that grew out of these concerns.

    It's a separate issue, unrelated to the 2nd Amendment and the RKBA.

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  35. In defense of Laci, it is useful that some anti-gunowner advocates continue to attack Heller. Here's why. Paul Helmke wrote:

    "Over the years, I have seen the gun lobby effectively thwart efforts to pass many sensible gun laws by arguing that even modest gun control would lead down the path to a complete ban on gun ownership. It is the classic slippery slope argument, and it has served the gun lobby well politically. The slippery slope, however, is now gone. The U.S. Supreme Court took it off the table Thursday in their D.C. v. Heller opinion. Government is now barred from taking away the guns of law-abiding Americans."

    If Laci is right and the Heller decision is likely to be overturned, then Helmke is wrong and the "slippery slope" is not gone. If Heller will be overturned, then the passage of lesser gun control laws could indeed lead down the path to various gun bans, and gun owners need to continue to vigorously oppose such efforts.

    That's an important message. Thanks, Laci.

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  36. Every citizen is a member of either the organized or unorganized militia. As such, you should be prepared for militia duty by acquiring and becoming proficient with military arms, a duty most citizens neglect.

    US v Miller allowed the banning of sawed off shotguns because they have "no connection to militia service." That is, no professional military has kept them in their inventories. Of course it must be noted that Mr. Miller did not make it to the Supreme Court to argue his case because he was killed. Perhaps he was right about that cut down shotgun being necessary to protect himself.

    P.S. Unrelated question: What situations can police encounter that require "large capacity" magazines that a non-police citizen will Never encounter?

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  37. Jay- it is your opinion that every citizen is a member of the militia. I challenge you to ask the public if they would agree with that one. Most people do not even think about that on a day to day basis and would find it ridiculous as do I.

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  38. Patrick said, "Anyone who asks for laws that would further restrict citizens from defending themselves against criminals that prey on them, by definition, is for the criminal (pro-criminal)."

    Well, that's one way to look at it. Another would be that anyone who resists gun control laws that would keep guns away from criminals and mentally ill people, by definition, wants criminals and mentally ill people to have guns.

    What's wrong with you, man? You are a sick, sick cookie to want something like that.

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  39. "Every citizen is a member of either the organized or unorganized militia."

    Not quite.

    10 USC 312:
    (a) The following persons are exempt from militia duty:
    (1) The Vice President.
    (2) The judicial and executive officers of the United States, the several States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.
    (3) Members of the armed forces, except members who are not on active duty.
    (4) Customhouse clerks.
    (5) Persons employed by the United States in the transmission of mail.
    (6) Workmen employed in armories, arsenals, and naval shipyards of the United States.
    (7) Pilots on navigable waters.
    (8) Mariners in the sea service of a citizen of, or a merchant in, the United States.

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  40. "US v Miller allowed the banning of sawed off shotguns because they have "no connection to militia service." That is, no professional military has kept them in their inventories"

    Not quite. Miller allowed the banning of short barreled shotguns because no evidence had been presented that professional militaries used them. Truth was that many militaries had used short-barreled shotguns, including the US Army. And had Miller been represented in the case, evidence to that fact would likely have been presented.

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  41. Jdege. Operative word here is "duty". as in a time of a draft.

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  42. Also before you say it was written 200 years ago it seems as if it was last updated in 1993

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  43. Notice how the rather tired misunderstanding of the concept of "unorganised" (or reserve, sedentary, whatever you wish to call the non-enrolled portion of the militia) is brought out to say that everyone is a member of the militia.

    As I said in my original post, the "unorganised" militia is a draft pool and is the same thing as being eligable for the draft.

    I will repeat that saying you are a member of the unorganised militia makes you a member of the militia having a draft card makes you a member of the military.

    You need to be enrolled to be a member of the militia.

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  44. Jdege is sort of correct when he says:
    Miller allowed the banning of short barreled shotguns because no evidence had been presented that professional militaries used them. Truth was that many militaries had used short-barreled shotguns, including the US Army. And had Miller been represented in the case, evidence to that fact would likely have been presented.

    The court said Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense. Aymette v. State of Tennessee, 2 Humph., Tenn., 154, 158.

    I was not accepting that the sawed off shotgun was part of military equipment under judicial notice which allows a fact to be introduced into evidence if the truth of that fact is so notorious or well known that it cannot be refuted. Aymette states:
    A man in the pursuit of deer, elk and buffaloes, might carry his rifle every day, for forty years, and, yet, it would never be said of him, that he had borne arms, much less could it be said, that a private citizen bears arms, because he has a dirk or pistol concealed under his clothes, or a spear in a cane. So that, with deference, we think the argument of the court in the case referred to, even upon the question it has debated, is defective and inconclusive.

    The salient part of Miller regarding the shotgun is:
    In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a 'shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length' at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument.

    That is, if the shotgun's possession was related to "the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia", it would have been protected.

    The correct reading of Miller puts paid to FWM's assertion that the "collective right intepretation" "was invented in the 1970's". As Stevens's dissent shows that it was "shot down".

    I notice that there are no substantive refutations of my interpretation of the Second Amendment, other than one person alleging that that was "only one quoite".

    Sorry, I have read the primary material relating to the Second Amendment and find the Heller-McDonald interpretation to be a recent fabrication. To quote Justice William O. Douglas who was a member of the Supreme Court when Miller was being decided:
    There is under our decisions no reason why stiff state laws governing the purchase and possession of pistols may not be enacted. There is no reason why pistols may not be barred from anyone with a police record. There is no reason why a State may not require a purchaser of a pistol to pass a psychiatric test. There is no reason why all pistols should not be barred to everyone except the police.

    The leading case is United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174, upholding a federal law making criminal the shipment in interstate commerce of a sawed-off shotgun. The law was upheld, there being no evidence that a sawed-off shotgun had "some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia." Id., at 178. The Second Amendment, it was held, "must be interpreted and applied" with the view of maintaining a "militia."


    Justice Douglas knew what he was talking about.

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