THE MYTHS OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS AND 2ND AMENDMENT.. PART 1

The MTHS SURROUNDING THE BILL OF RIGHTS AND THE SECOND AMENDMENT.
Part I
by Robert J Dorn
Joe Nocera in his May 2014 OpEd in the New York Times states…
“He is after something else. He wants to understand how it came to be that the Second Amendment, long assumed to mean one thing, has come to mean something else entirely. To put it another way: Why are we, as a society, willing to put up with mass shootings as the price we must pay for the right to carry a gun?…Sadly, that is what we have now, as we saw over the weekend. Elliot Rodger’s individual right to bear arms trumped the public good. Eight people were shot as a result.”
Today there is hardly a more controversial discussion in American life than Gun rights, Gun Safety with the ever increasing, almost weekly mass shootings, in schools or public places. The NRA and the Gun Lobby their supporters flame up , it seems at the mention of any further or increased gun safety legislation, though it has already passed in many states, including most of those surrounding Connecticutt and the 2012 Newtown school shootings (and many more). On the other hand, it’s just as volatile a discussion from those groups and individuals attempting to push any new legislation and who demonize (correctly or not) the Corporate and money behind the NRA and other Pro Gun lobbyists, Militia groups and others.
What I have discovered in reading certain scholarly books on this topic in the past few months, is that NO ONE has or owns the rights to the Only interpretation of the 2nd Amendment or any of the Bill of rights… Courts, including the Supreme, have gone back n forth, changed viewpoints, and the tide in the past conservative Era have changed it once again.
Fact: there have always been gun safety or gun restrictions throughout our nation’s history, regardless of the short line called the 2nd Amendment..
While most of us regular Americans would consider upon reflection, the First Amendment the most important, regarding freedom OF and freedom FROM religion, freedom of speech, reads as such: ‘Congress shall make no law respecting and establishment of religion ….etc.. etc…’ (recently negated by the recent Hobby Lobby Supreme court case).
Many throw their whole bag of oats into the Second Amendment, even claiming, it’s some ‘Natural’, or ‘God given’ right…(not according to the writers of the Bill of Rights). There have been and still persist various Theoretical viewpoints regarding the phrasing and meaning of the Second Amendment. Two recent books, both best sellers, going into deep analysis and historical ‘exegesis’, if you will (to use a Theological term)…. These folk are now and have traditionally been categorized as “Originalist’ readers of the Constitution (about 5 of the current Supreme Justices are so)..verses those who are of more inclined to a ‘living’ Constitution, noting the Amendments and the need and possibility of such. But the arguments and understandings go deeper.

(More to come)

 

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21 thoughts on “THE MYTHS OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS AND 2ND AMENDMENT.. PART 1”

  1. It is a little difficult to have a conversation with people who aren’t telling the truth.

    Gun Safety with the ever increasing, almost weekly mass shootings, in schools or public places.

    Sorry but ‘ever increasing’ simply isn’t true. Firearm related mass shooting have not increased. In fact, over all crime including firearm related crimes have declined over the last several decades.

    To put it another way: Why are we, as a society, willing to put up with mass shootings as the price we must pay for the right to carry a gun?

    We ‘put up with’ hundreds of people dying in airline accidents and crashes in order to have the right to travel. We put up with ‘accidents’ that kill people, we put up with drunk driving, speeding, reckless in order to have the right to travel.
    We put up with parents who kill their children, abuse them in the worst way – in order to have the right to procreate.

    We put up with rapes, attempted rapes, false accusations of rape in order to have the right to date.

    Liberty is going to have consequences — why are firearms singled out so differently?

    Bob S.

    1. thanks for your input… I am still working on this entire article.. to be published in OpEdnews but.. to respond to two points..
      yes, perhaps, I need to rephrase the ,’ever increasing’… to maybe the ,’ever more aware’.. or something of that sort.. but one does not hardly have to even turn on the news without there having been a ver y preventable either mass, or multiple shooting somewhere, it seems, weekly, even to the mild observer.. (see link here of Texas shooting yesterday in TX “http://www.dailyamerican.com/news/nation/suspect-in-texas-police-shooting-presumed-dead/article_61a060d0-9f75-55be-8a1e-aca7b0a5ae97.html)…and secondly..
      really,,.? ‘why are firearms singled out?’….. because of Open Carry, gone to Insane levels, because of lies and immense $ pooring into the obvious gun lobby…Airplane crashes adn such have nothing to do with ‘preventable’ gun killings…..If you go waving your automatic, semiautomatic, and military firearms at unsuspecting shoppers going about their daily chores.. what reaction do you really expect… I am not finished with this article and it is partially based on the content of the recent bestseller, ‘The Second Amendment: a biography’ by Michael Waldman.. and ‘the Mythic meanings of the second amendment’ by David C williams… neither of which takes a stance AGAINST private firearms ownership, but which attempt to look at all the historic views and interpretations regarding this and its place in the Bill of Rights…of which there are and have ALWAYS BEEN various interpretatoins… spouting the word LIBERTY at me or anyone else does no one any good, when one person’s interpretation and take on that is entirely different in many instances than another. I resent the attempt by the Pro gun groups, lobbies and militia to try to take sole ‘ownership’ of such words as Liberty and Freedom…..(the last line, my own feelings…)…Peace
      [note: accepting the replies to this, I still stand by the fact that not just regular Americans, going about their daily routines, should not have to be shamelessly scared by ANY public show of firearms by anyone… that’s THEIR freedom and RIGHTS, which inordinately is ignored by the continued ‘open carry’ display in Stores, and other Public places, which they didn’t ask for. I support those reasoned efforts by various and many public venues, be they stores, restaurants ,etc… to in the least ask that dangerous firearms and their meaningless display, which serves no purpose, to be allowed on their property]

      1. Catskill Bob,

        I’m sorry but you are really showing either your ignorance or a deliberate bias when you make a statement like this:

        ..If you go waving your automatic, semiautomatic, and military firearms at unssuspecting shoppers going about their daily chores.. what reaction do you really expect…

        Fully automatic or selective firearms are indistinguishable from ‘military firearms’ unless you are referring to something like my bolt-action Mosin Nagant as a ‘military firearm’.

        Further and more importantly, select fire weapons have been highly regulated and unaffordable for the average person since 1986 and the Hughes Amendment. To imply that people are carrying around fully automatic firearms is inane and provocative for no reason. So….are you unaware of what you are talking about or deliberately trying to stir the pot?

        Bob S.

    2. It’s easy to dispute the rise in mass murders without citing data to back such a claim. The fact remains that mass murder is a part of life in the United States, more so than any other western nation. But are numbers really material when people are murdered at work, at play, at worship?

      You apparently feel there is an acceptable number of mass murder shootings we should tolerate, that is, according to the end of your post. What is that number? And why do you say it is acceptable?

      So here are the choices, we stay as we are and innocent people continue to be murdered. (nothing done, nothing changes) We try pass reasonable laws in an effort to reduce, if not end, murder. Is there a third choice?

      1. Gordon
        thanks for your input.. Resepectfully to all, I , again, was not particularly wanting to share Numbers on innocent dead …. this is not the point of what i am trying to approach in these pieces… I am also not debating the situations where one might or might not be up against law enforcement (thinking of the cops even using non gun related killing by the NYPD.)….

      2. Gordon Adams,

        I don’t know if you are addressing myself or the Other (CS) Bob, but I’ll also answer. If not please just consider this more rebuttal against the gun control position.

        The fact remains that mass murder is a part of life in the United States, more so than any other western nation.

        I love it when people have to ‘qualify’ their statements like that. Brazil, Honduras, and many other countries have mass murder as a way of life. But we can’t talk about those because it shows the futility of gun control.

        Mexico, does it qualify as western?, has ultra strict gun control laws. In fact there is only 1 – ONE — legal gun store for civilians in the entire country. Yet its homicide rate is 3 times that of America. Why is that?

        You apparently feel there is an acceptable number of mass murder shootings we should tolerate, that is, according to the end of your post. What is that number? And why do you say it is acceptable?

        One of the things people don’t want to talk about is the freedom people have to do bad things. We have legalized consumption of alcohol; yet we know that people will die of over consumption. We know people will die in alcohol-related automobile collisions.

        Yes, we know people will die. Just like they will die in airline mishaps. And from food poisoning and from drowning and from falling off things. We accept that because we live, we will die.

        Why should firearms be any different?

        Bob S.

  2. My problem with the current regulation of firearms in the current laws is that people with mental illness are allowed to own weapons AND the NRA demands these people be allowed to own same.

    Gun shop owners are under no obligation to prevent a sale to a mentally ill person…as long as they do not communicate a threat against someone directly to them. The current standard is to high to prevent gun purchases by those that shouldn’t have them and the lack of psychiatric reporting to the federal government (although finally cleared up by Mr. Obama’s executive order) by psychiatrists is the biggest hurdle we have to overcome.

    On a writing note…I agree with the original responder, Bob, Please learn the language of gun ownership. It will bolster your opinion and show the gun rights advocates that you do know what you are talking about.

    Trying to discuss this topic without basic understandings between terms like automatic, semi-automatic, bullet, cartridge, caliber measurements, difference between rimfire and centerfire, etc. ad nauseum is similar to those that want to cut library expenditures by firing librarians since all they do is ‘put away books in order’. Showing respect to both sides of an issue is improtant in opening discourse.

    If you need help with this call me..or Skype me. I will help you learn what is important and increase your audience respect for what you have to say.

    1. I don’t know exactly whom you are correcting or agreeing with here Roy, but the emphasis is NOT on types of firearms.. its on the INTERPRETATIOn and massive promotion and anger seemingly over fear of losing a ‘right’ where none exists….I am and have been studying the ‘meanings’..(many) for awhile now. i will continue this in several parts, hoping to enlighten all.. Peace

  3. @3Boxesofbs

    I would also like to address your problem with Bob’s discourse. I do agree (see above) that he needs information relating to guns and ammos…but your job shouldn’t be to call him out, or use lingo..you should take the opportunity to explain the differences without throwing out a whole bunch of firearm lingo designed to obfuscate the issue. Fine Bob doesn’t know the difference between fully auto, semi auto, or bolt action…take the time to inform him of the differences rather than go neck deep into vocabulary that he doesn’t have. This IS the way to show, and help others, properly learn about guns, gun safety, and responsible gun ownership.

    1. correction.. I DO know the difference…my point is not the level or extreme capablility of any of the firearms…
      but, I appreciate your point, Roy….for fairness, I state that Roy is a long time friend

  4. To Both Roy and Bob S… respectfully, I apologize for letting my own inherent biases and commentary, fly away from the point here..
    Both Williams in ‘Myths’, and Waldman in ‘The Second Amendment’….are trying not to debate particular types of gun legislation (see below our own factual ‘Gun legislation or Control timeline’)…they are trying show a ‘wholistic’ view of the entire topic from the Founders on down to the present..
    One reviewer of Waldman’s book from ‘American Progess’ (
    http://www.americanprogress.org/events/2014/07/08/93474/the-second-amendment/) , states…

    “In The Second Amendment: A Biography, Michael Waldman lends a new perspective to the most controversial, volatile, and misunderstood provision of the Bill of Rights. This new book traces the relatively benign beginnings of the Second Amendment—intended to calm public fear—through the radicalization of the National Rifle Association, or NRA, in the 1970s, when the group began to wage a fierce campaign to create a constitutional protection for gun ownership. Waldman follows developments in the Supreme Court to explain the modern context for the debate over guns, which has been characterized by intransigence at the state and federal levels in recent years.” Which, is where this conversation IS and SHOULD BE going…
    I do not apologize for my ignorance of firearms , in particular, as that is not the FOCUS of my blog.. I am not, frankly, interested..
    I welcome all reasonable commentary, as long as its ‘civil’…
    I will be blogging further as I continue my blog on this important topic..
    peace to you all!!

    FEDERAL GUN CONTROL TIMELINE:
    Second Amendment Ratified
    1791
    “It states, “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.”
    National Rifle Association Founded
    1871
    Union soldiers Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate found the  NRA  to “promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis.” Civil War Gen. Ambrose Burnside, who was also the former governor of Rhode Island and a U.S. Senator, serves as the organization’s first president.
    National Firearms Act
    1934
    Brought about by the lawlessness and rise of gangster culture during prohibition, President Franklin D. Roosevelt hoped this act would eliminate automatic-fire weapons like machine guns from America’s streets. Other firearms such as short-barreled shotguns and rifles, parts of guns like silencers, as well as other “gadget-type” firearms hidden in canes and such were also targeted. All gun sales and gun manufacturers were slapped with a $200 tax (no small amount for Americans mired in the Great Depression; that would be like a tax of $2,525 today) on each firearm, and all buyers were required to fill out paperwork subject to Treasury Dept. approval.
    Gun Control Act
    1968
    The assassination of John F. Kennedy, who was killed by a mail-order gun that belonged to Lee Harvey Oswald, inspired this major revision to federal gun laws. The subsequent assasinations of Martin Luther King and presidential candidate Robert Kennedy fueled its quick passage. License requirements were expanded to include more dealers, and more detailed record keeping was expected of them; handgun sales over state lines were restricted; the list of persons dealers could not sell to grew to include those convicted of felonies (with some exceptions), those found mentally incompetent, drug users and more. The act also defined persons who were banned from possessing firearms.
    The key element of this bill outlawed mail order sales of rifles and shotguns; Up until this law, mail order consumers only had to sign a statement that they were over 21 years of age for a handgun (18 for rifle or shotgun); it also detailed more persons who were banned from possessing certain guns, including drug users, and further restricted shotgun and rifles sales.Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Created
    1972
    Enforcement of the Gun Control Act was given to the Dept. of the Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division of the Internal Revenue Service. The organization replaced “tax” with “firearms,” nearly doubled in size, and became the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).
    Firearms Owners’ Protection Act
    1986
    Eased restrictions on gun sellers and the sale of some guns. Imposed additional penalties for persons using a firearm during certain crimes and persons with robbery or burglary convictions who are illegally shipping guns.
    Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act
    1986
    Made it illegal for anyone to manufacture or import armor piercing ammunition, or “cop-killer bullets,” which are capable of penetrating bulletproof clothing.
    Crime Control Act
    1990
    Directed the attorney general to develop a strategy for establishing “drug-free school zones,” including criminal penalties for possessing or discharging a firearm in a school zone. Outlawed the assembly of illegal semiautomatic rifles or shotguns from legally imported parts.
    Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act
    1994 – 2004
    Commonly referred to as the “Assault Weapons Ban,” this bill banned the manufacture, possession, and importation of new semiautomatic assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition feeding devices (or magazines) for civilian use.
    Criteria for semiautomatic assault weapons that fall under the ban are provided as well as a list of 19 specific firearms.
    Prohibits juveniles from possessing or selling handguns and directs the attorney general to evaluate proposed and existing state juvenile gun laws.
    Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act
    1994
    Imposed, on an interim basis, a five-day waiting period and background check before a licensed gun importer, manufacturer or dealer can sell or deliver a handgun to an unlicensed individual.
    Required a new National Instant Criminal Background Check System, run by the  FBI, be ready to replace the waiting period by Nov. 30, 1998. The new background check system will apply to all firearms and will allow checks to be done over the phone or electronically with results returned immediately in most cases.
    Brady Handgun Act Goes Into Effect
    1998
    The Brady Act goes into effect which requires all gun dealers to run background checks on all potential buyers using the National Instant Criminal Background Check system.
    Gun Bill Requires Trigger Locks
    1999
    A bill is passed which requires all newly made hand guns to have a trigger lock. The bill also extends the waiting period and background checks of firearms being sold at gun shows.
    Washington D.C. Handgun Ban Dismissed
    2008
    In District of Columbia v. Heller, a landmark case, the Supreme Court dismisses the Washington, D.C. handgun ban. The court ruled that the Second Amendment of the U. S. Constitution protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm for private use within the home in federal enclaves, which the District of Columbia is considered.
    (See more at: http://www.preceden.com/timelines/33623-federal-gun-control-legislation-timeline#sthash.M4vqRhzm.dpuf )

  5. “Commonly referred to as the “Assault Weapons Ban,” this bill banned the manufacture, possession, and importation of new semiautomatic assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition feeding devices (or magazines) for civilian use.”

    Bob here’s why you need to learn something about guns:

    These are all the same rifle. Which should be banned? Why? Some look scarier/military? But they are all the same..they shoot the same cartridge, same bullet, etc. This is the illogic that gun owners shake their head at.

    A lot of gun owners agree with the idea that ‘black guns’, military appearing rifles should not be sold to the public…and again this is just based on looks.

    1. I have taken this to heart.. will research is later..
      be it known I am in no way arguing against Gun ownership in America. I am arguing, for sensible, safe, and reasonable legislation to protect as many Americans from unsafe practices and unsafe gun owners and usage…. this to be taken with the knowledge that you and others have shared about various kinds of firearms.. Peace

    2. further, as I develop the parts of my blogs on this .. you will see this is not about ownership per se, but about misinterpretations, myths and historic views of the Second Amendment and not on the issue of gun ownership… the ‘reason’ for the ‘militia’ and the Body of the People’s usage of this is what’s being discussed. This has been obscured by the immediate attack and reactionary sentiments of mr Bob S.

  6. CS Bob,

    Sorry for the delay in addressing this – there is a lot of conversation going on here. Thanks for hosting it.

    I still stand by the fact that not just regular Americans, going about their daily routines, should not have to be shamelessly scared by ANY public show of firearms by anyone… that’s THEIR freedom and RIGHTS,

    BUNK !

    I’m going to change a few words in your statement and see if you still agree.

    I still stand by the fact that not just regular Americans, going about their daily routines, should not have to be shamelessly scared by ANY public show of homosexuality by anyone… that’s THEIR freedom and RIGHTS,

    I still stand by the fact that not just regular Americans, going about their daily routines, should not have to be shamelessly scared by ANY public show of different race by anyone… that’s THEIR freedom and RIGHTS,

    I still stand by the fact that not just regular Americans, going about their daily routines, should not have to be shamelessly scared by ANY public show of greater physical strength by anyone… that’s THEIR freedom and RIGHTS,

    Your rights to not be afraid end when you try to force me to change IF I am not breaking the law. Open Carry of firearms is legal. It is a legitimate exercise of rights and other people’s fear is not a sufficient reason to curtail it.

    . I support those reasoned efforts by various and many public venues, be they stores, restaurants ,etc… to in the least ask that dangerous firearms and their meaningless display, which serves no purpose, to be allowed on their property]

    Do you know what the purpose of Open Carry activities in the state of Texas ?

    It is a political protest ! That alone makes it sure it serves a purpose. Texas, one of 6 states, outlaws the Open Carry of Handguns. It licenses — at great expense by the way — concealed carry of handguns.
    But Open Carry of rifles and shotguns is legal in the state. And those public venues did not have a problem with people carrying there until the anti-gun group Moms Demanding Attention raised a ruckus trying to pressure the stores into banning firearms.

    So, do you feel that private businesses should be able to limit the exercise of civil rights on their property?
    such as carrying firearms, LGTB public display of affection, ?

    Bob S.

  7. I could say, ‘apples and oranges’… but that’s too simple and inappropriate…
    Firstly, the logic is all wrong.. its a ‘false analogy; to explain..
    ‘two objects or arguments being compared are relevantly dissimilar’
    … (look up the words if you don’t know the meaning’…)
    better yet.. I ‘ll go to your own people to show you why I think its a ‘bad idea’..(I never said open carry was not your ‘right’ where it obviously was.)
    see link: “http://www.firearmtutorials.com/index.php/general/why-open-carry-is-bad”

    Why open carry is bad
    by Erik
    I am an obvious gun advocate, but cruising around youtube I found even more videos of people walking around video taping their open carry. Again, I am a gun supporter, but I have to agree with the officers who responded. It just creates too much negative attention. I addressed this several months ago with the article: should I open carry?

    The guys shooting these videos are “trying to create awareness for open carry.” What they are actually doing is giving the anti-gun advocates exactly what they want to see: crazy gun owners. Open carry simply fuels the fire and gives anti-gun advocates more ammunition (no pun intended) to plead their concerning gun control.

    While certain states may have laws permitting open carry, in the end you can go to jail if the police really want to take you. How so? Open carry is legal and how could I be arrested for something that is legal. Simple: disturbing the peace. Nearly every city has a local ordnance supporting a peaceful environment. When 911 gets a call or calls concerning a man with a gun, it’s easy to see how that could be viewed as disturbing the peace..
    and there were many more Pro gun users, Patriots, call them what you will, that will totally agree with most of you and your ‘comrades’ but I can see the logic in what he says..
    ….
    get my drift?

  8. I forgot to answer your question about whether private businesses should have the right to limit ‘civil rights’ expressed in their stores or whatever.. well, firstly, that’s for them to answer,, and most have ..secondly,…where, ‘legislation’ is passed allowing one thing , perhaps at certain times or all the time, in a certain place.. its just common courtesy, that people show some level of ‘courtesy’ on where and when they do it… if you want to protest outside a store or place o f business, as i have done many times..(never allowed inside, so is MY civil right being denied? another time for that)… but, Civil rights are codified in the Constitution… local legislation is and may be a different matter. but ,since i have been denied the right to carry, say, my ‘Anti fracking’ signs inside a store…should not that place of business have the same right, if you are truly, ‘protesting’ of banning you with your firearms of any sort, from there store? i am using simple logic here.
    My personal feelings… courtesy, man, its a lost art..
    p.s. and please dont ever compare the ‘existence’ of LGBT people, to a gun being carried for whatever reason, in a store…I resent that immensely, and its very ignorant on your part… I must say. 🙂

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