The MYTHS SURROUNDING THE BILL OF RIGHTS AND THE SECOND AMENDMENT. Part II

Part II
The MYTHS SURROUNDING THE BILL OF RIGHTS AND THE SECOND AMENDMENT.

“I confess that I do not entirely approve of this Constitution at present, but Sir, I am not sure I shall never approve of it…” Benjamin Franklin ‘s speech at the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention.

‘The Second Amendment: a biography’ by Michael Waldman intends the Founders intent has been misunderstood, says, “At this moment, there is a widely accepted misconception about the history of the amendment and its purpose within American society. When the founding fathers implemented Second Amendment the main idea behind it was to provide citizens with a way to oppose possible tyrannical government. However, today it is widely believed that the Second Amendment is there to provide you with a way to protect yourself from other individuals. The debate is also present over whether the Second Amendment provides for collective or individual rights.  “..
David C. Williams said in his intro, the following, “The American constitutional tradition offers an answer to that question.(what constitutes a revolution, and how is it different from a Rebellion?)..…that answer can be reduced to two claims, which together constitute the thesis of this book.

First, the BODY OF THE PEOPLE (his emphasis) and revolution are terms that are rich in historical meaning. The Body of the People refers not to Unaffiliated individuals but to the People as a WHOLE, assembled in a universal militia and united by a ‘common culture’ concerning the proper use of political violence. This universal body has the RIGHT to make a Revolution, defined as a political uprising made by the People ‘as a whole’ for the good of whole.”  (Not just disconnected, and disparate ‘militia’ or’patriot’ groups, or Libertarians, Statists or other Outgroups with no support by the body of the people).
He later refers to ‘unaffiliated’ examples, such as Timothy McVeigh, and supporting, groups and such ‘Militia’ today, which are self promoting, and NOT called upon by any ‘state’, thus not consistent with the wording of the Second Amendment’s, ‘Militia’.

He then states, “Second,  Congress, as the  …representative of the Body of the People, has the right to maintain forces to ‘suppress’ rebellions (e.g. Washington against the Whiskey rebellion), defined as  political uprisings made by the ‘faction’ for the selfish good of that ‘faction’. In common…George Washington made a revolution as a leader of a free and united people; Timothy McVeigh committed an act of rebellion by murdering fellow Americans.” (end quote)

A reasonable understanding of the problem with today’s Militia minded groups and a failure to understand some pretty straightforward facts about the intent of the Constitution, Bill of Rights and specifically the Second amendment… Below I quote from PoliticsUSA online article, as just one example of this.

” Gun-fanatics (his term) and rebellion-minded conservatives cannot comprehend that the U.S. government is not a foreign power, or that the Declaration of Independence was American colonists’ official separation notice from Great Britain.  (Sheriff David A.) Clarke and revolution-minded NRA traitors (his term) also fail to acknowledge is there have been no attempts whatsoever to disarm people; law-abiding or otherwise. In fact, there have been no new gun safety measures* in America since 1994′s Assault Weapons Ban passed by a Republican Congress during the Clinton Administration. Clarke knew he was inciting NRA anti-government gun-zealots to rebellion against the government that the NRA has advertised for five years while a Black man has been in the Oval Office.”  Link: “Another Right Wing Sheriff Threatens America With Armed Rebellion”in PoliticsUsa, (The latest sheriff to threaten America with armed rebellion is Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr who addressed the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting last week and…http://www.politicususa.com/2014/04/30/wing-sheriff-threatens-america-armed-rebellion.html)
Williams divides his treatise into ‘groups’ , their viewpoints and their failure as misinterpreted ‘myths’ about the Second Amendment”.

Williams, perhaps, differently than some, naming them, ‘Anti revolutionists’ (statists to some), ‘Libertarians and Populists’, ‘The Militia movement’ and members of more recent, ‘outgroups’ (Jews, African-Americans, etc.).

…these outgroup myths are myths of DisUnity rather than Unity. They presume that Some Americans will kill others, and the only question is , who will fit onto each category”(1)

He equates the Problem (and I mostly agree with him), is that…”..with all the myths in this part is not just that they do not square with the Framer’s visioin. The deeper problem is that they offer a false hope that we can tame violence by arming the RIGHT people (my emphasis) against the WRONG people.”… He supposes such an end an ultimate ‘collapse’.  And he, as I, would, wish to “…create a political culture that binds us together.”  He abhors, as do I, by emphasizing, Hostility, “…they encourage distrust and anger as ‘constitutionally’ sanctioned attitudes.”
An example from the Militia viewpoint is, (Williams), that the 27 words in the 2nd amendment, “… is absolute. Unequivocal, inalienable right of the ‘people’ to be armed, needs no interpretation.”
But he then quotes  (James ) Madison, “Do not separate text from historical background. ..you will have perverted and subverted the constitution, which can only end in distorted, bastardized from of illegitimate government”  He thus says, of the ‘Militia’ movement (as with all the groups herein) that their, “..Theory of the Second Amendment is thus an exaggeration of themes present in more mainstream populism”.(p. 218)

Nocera also says, “In time, of course, the militia idea died out, replaced by a professionalized armed service. Most gun regulation took place at the state and city level. The judiciary mostly stayed out of the way. In 1939, the Supreme Court upheld the nation’s  first national gun law, the National Firearms Act, which put onerous limits on sawed-off shotguns and machine guns ” precisely because the guns had no reasonable relation to a well-regulated militia.”

Then, what IS the correct historical and present intent of the 2nd Amendment…  I will go into that more in the next section. A short preview is in Williams’ words, “In every case, these stories fruitlessly pit one segment of the population against another in hopes that if the right people have the guns all will be well”. (p. 261)

(* this before several state initiatives after the Sandy Hook mass killings in CT.)
“. – (1)(David C. Williamson MYTHIC MEANINGS OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT. P 101)

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27 thoughts on “The MYTHS SURROUNDING THE BILL OF RIGHTS AND THE SECOND AMENDMENT. Part II”

  1. Catskil Bob,

    When the founding fathers implemented Second Amendment the main idea behind it was to provide citizens with a way to oppose possible tyrannical government. However, today it is widely believed that the Second Amendment is there to provide you with a way to protect yourself from other individuals.

    If a single cop is about to break down my door and kill me; do I have a right to defend myself against him or her?
    If a single soldier is about to break down my door and kill me; do I have a right to defend myself against him or her?

    If not, how does it make sense that the ‘people’ have a right to defend themselves against a tyrannical government?

    The Body of the People refers not to Unaffiliated individuals but to the People as a WHOLE, assembled in a universal militia and united by a ‘common culture’ concerning the proper use of political violence.

    I find this argument to be unconvincing as historically it is accepted that only 3% of the population took up arms against the government. There were Loyalists that fought with the government — so it can hardly be arged that the “People as a WHOLE” were united.

    Secondly, most everywhere else in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights; People is references individuals — the Right of the People to be secure from unreasonable searches — surely doesn’t mean we can only be safe if we are in an established group. The Right of the People to Peacefully assemble doesn’t mean If you have a group you can get together but one person can’t start a group, does it?

    Individuals have to be able to defend themselves against single individuals or groups; be they governmental thugs or criminal thugs.

    also fail to acknowledge is there have been no attempts whatsoever to disarm people; law-abiding or otherwise. In fact, there have been no new gun safety measures* in America since 1994′s Assault Weapons Ban passed by a Republican Congress during the Clinton Administration.

    UH, WRONG.

    New York State Safe Act — California banned Open Carry, Colorado passed several ‘gun control laws recently. Politicians and anti-rights cultists continue to call for the repeal of the 2nd Amendment.
    And that doesn’t even address the city and county level were our rights are continually under attack.

    In 1939, the Supreme Court upheld the nation’s first national gun law, the National Firearms Act, which put onerous limits on sawed-off shotguns and machine guns ” precisely because the guns had no reasonable relation to a well-regulated militia.”

    Referring to the Miller v. U.S Supreme Court Decision I take it. Of course there are a couple of problems with that — first Miller had ran out of money and his attorney did not sure up to present a defense. Second, Sawed off Shotguns had been used in WWI as “trench guns” — so there is evident that a sawed off shotgun does have a reasonable relation to a well-regulated Militia. Lastly, we now have Heller and McDonald decision which codify that the 2nd Amendment protects firearm unrelated to the Militia

    “In every case, these stories fruitlessly pit one segment of the population against another in hopes that if the right people have the guns all will be well”.

    Oh…that so well sums up the gun-control (anti-rights cultists as I call them) position !!
    As long as the right people — the cops, the rich, — have guns and the average person doesn’t — they are okay with it.

    Bob S.

      1. Bob,

        Not a great way to encourage discussion and show you are really open to the other side.

        Instead of being dismissive and insulting — how about you show me how what I wrote doesn’t apply?

    1. however, your first paragraph in this reply is totally correct and the ‘meaning’, though distant from the original intent has now become what you have said,, about ‘individual’ right to bear arms, which has never been my issue,, and has been implemented by many states.. stilll not an issue, nor THE issue I am trying to write about, which is a ‘coming together’…as much as possible for all of us, to see a way to at least comprehend the intent of this small sentence as a ‘right’… elsewhere in both books I spoke of (Williams and Waldmans’)…they acknowledge that current state of affairs, but seek a way between, around, or encompassing what he Founders ‘may’ have meant, which has been torn apart and pretty much destroyed over time by all of us… peace 🙂

      1. I hope this agrees with you better.. however.. I have heard the ‘cop at the door’ expression before.. and I don’t think from what I have ever read that it has anything to do with the 2nd amendment aka ‘militia’ aspect of the Amendment… but is treated elsewhere in the Bill of Rights and Constitution… IMHO

      2. If your issue is a ‘coming together’ then I suggest a greater focus on that aspect than repetition of gun control laws aimed at the individual.

        But the coming together aspect is the essential element of respecting the rights of the individual. While One view has been the Militia ONLY — as the expression of coming together– as being the primary aspect of the 2nd Amendment is isn’t and has never been the only view. In fact that was part of the radicalization of the NRA mentioned; too many of the leadership there was seen as accepting gun control laws aimed at the individual.

        Now days the expression is finding a different outlet; not militia only service but in self defense, in recreational shooting, in a political statement about the governmental overreach.
        Consider the 2nd Amendment to be a proxy for many other issues if you were. The TEA Party is another example of this — while originally based on “Taxed Enough Already”(huge governmental overreach on taxation) it soon recognized we need to protect our 2nd Amendment rights also – otherwise we would not be able to protest on the others.

        to see a way to at least comprehend the intent of this small sentence as a ‘right’… elsewhere in both books I spoke of (Williams and Waldmans’)…they acknowledge that current state of affairs, but seek a way between, around, or encompassing what he Founders ‘may’ have meant,

        And in part that is what I’m trying to explain to you — you may be seeking a way between, around what the Founder’s meant; we are here to say “ENOUGH ALREADY”. Look at the recent trends and reactions to purposed gun control measures. It isn’t to accept them and turn in firearms — it is to buy more. And not just existing owners but people who never owned a firearm in their lives. What does that say about people coming together?

        We are tired of hearing about “gun safety” and seeing another law restricting our rights. We are tired of hearing about “militia” and seeing another gun control bill that takes away weapons NOT USED BY THE MILITARY but the semi-automatic versions.
        We are tired of hearing how we have to do something about gun violence – when gun violence is decreasing as ownership increases and more people are carrying.

        We are coming together and telling people pushing more laws ENOUGH.

        Bob S.

    2. Bob s., Thanks for your input. Your argument sums up a mentality that will only harm, kill, and worse, respectfully, and we need to respect all rights, including our right to a peaceful prosperous, and undangerous atmosphere. But I’ve said all I will on this. Leave it if you please, leave the rest of us in peace

  2. “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 shall 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.”
    — Tench Coxe, 1788.

    “Arms in the hands of citizens may be used at individual discretion in private self defense.”
    – John Adams

    “The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops.”
    – Noah Webster

    “I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians.”
    – George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

    If we are going to talk about the Founding Fathers’ intent; let’s talk about all of it. Let’s talk about how state constitution after state constitution protected the right of the people to keep and bear arms for self defense.

    Bob S.

    1. As George Mason, says above,from your quote…”…what is the militia? it is the WHOLE people except for a few politicians.. (last line is laughable), But , again, my point exactly and what we are trying to surmise here.. what, or whom, IS the Whole people..certainly not the sparse and divided ‘militia’ groups descending upon Texas at this moment…therefore, from other points of view (Washington himself) following the dictates of the Constitutional powers given to him would have routed the ‘miltia’ I speak, whether you believe that wrong or right…. hope I am a little clearer here.. but, I still don’t think we are ON or NEAR the same page yet.. not sure we will ever be..
      Peace

      1. CS Bob,

        I think part of the problem is the issue of assuming a portion represents the whole. Or at least that is what you seem to be claiming.

        The people calling them “Militia” are in fact operating as that – at least per the classic definition. They might not and probably are not operating within the defined law regarding militias. There is a difference.

        But more importantly; they don’t comprise the entirety of the people. Just as those who commit fraud, libel, etc on blogs compose the entirety of bloggers.

        I hope this is making sense. Think of mothers who kill their children; either due to post-partnum depression or neglect or just evil; we have laws and societal restrictions to cover that horrendous deed. But those mothers do not represent all of the women who give birth.
        Then why should you use a few ‘modern militia’ to represent the rest of the armed population?

  3. Catskil Bob,

    I hope this agrees with you better.. however.. I have heard the ‘cop at the door’ expression before.. and I don’t think from what I have ever read that it has anything to do with the 2nd amendment aka ‘militia’ aspect of the Amendment…

    When the police and the military are indistinguishable in equipment, rules of operation and tactics; does it make a difference what the forces of the government are really called?

    Consider the history of the militia — the British Regulars were fired upon when they tried to do what ? Confiscate firearms and gun powder. Who shot at them? The Militia.

    During Hurricane Katrina, state guardsmen and law enforcement officers from Louisana and other states illegally confiscated firearms.

    The National Guard has been called out for national disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. The active duty military has been utilized also — Hurricane Andrew. When the functions and actions are indistinguishable does it matter?
    Never mind the fact that Posse Comitatus is supposed to be the law.

    How about another example of the police at the door — or in this case at the polls.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Athens_(1946)

    Bob S.

    1. Bob s.
      I don’t dispute the facts about Katrina, the National guard etc… things are getting worse, as I post almost daily on facebook, and I do not agree with the ‘militarization’ of local police forces… which seems to be going on all around us…
      to pull back a second,,again, my dispute, or better, my point is not related to these important and distrubing actions (I was at OWS in NYC at the begininng,,, which was barricaded like a ghetto)…but, what I am seeking is a way that all of us can, despite, our heart felt disagreements, come to some middle ground, about the use of ‘militia’ groups, the use of violence, and its appropriateness as depicted in the Constitution & Bill of rights…If you can back off on just the factual evidence you have presented, and at least try to read what I think I am getting at which is why both Waldman,(2nd Amendment: a biography), and Williams, (Mythic meanings of the Second Amendment) are attempting in their respectful books. that’s all I ask

    2. To get to a better example on my part…Bill Berkowitz at ‘BuzzFlash’, writes…
      “Alabama’s Mike Vanderboegh, who heads the III Percent Patriots, wrote the following on his blog: “It is impossible to overstate the importance of the victory won in the desert today. The feds were routed — routed. There is no word that applies. Courage is contagious, defiance is contagious, victory is contagious. Yet the war is not over.” http://www.truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/the-boys-of-bundy-right-wing-terrorists-spoiling-for-more-battles

      The example is disturbing and evidence of the problems with Populist or other ‘Myth’ of what is going on….when Vanderboegh above,, acts like they (we?) are already at war with our government…and saying the ‘war is not over yet’… How can such speech be supported….its antithetical to the hopes of a truly, ‘Body of the Peoples” MILITIA called out by a common coming together, which , to me is the most important aspect that I see from the 2nd amendment…. I know you will disgree, and much of this pins on the first phrase..”The Court reasoned that the Amendment’s prefatory clause, i.e., “[a] well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,” announced the Amendment’s purpose – “See more at: http://constitution.findlaw.com/amendment2/amendment.html#sthash.NI4yR6O7.dpuf
      How do such unregulated (by anyone) Militia now descended upon the Mexican border, with what purpose and what legitimacy?… what place do they have ? are they a real militia, ‘being neccessary to the SECURITY OF A FREE STATE’, how , when, by whom called out? none of this, taking a deeper look and read, has a legitimate claim to be the following the directives of the Second Amendment…

      1. CS Bob,

        I find it ironic that you ask me to back off the factual examples — then point out several factual examples to support your position.

        I also find your request to be an attempt to slant the basis of the discussion into areas where it favors you and not the opposition. You present argument after argument about the need for people to come together but don’t want to hear about people who have done just that.

        You cite the fact that you were at Occupy Wall Street — So I’ll ask you the same questions

        How did the unregulated (by anyone) Crowd/Militia that descended on Wall Street have any legitimacy?
        How did the Occupy Wall Street differ from the Militia you are reviling?

        Except the presence of arms — and I’ll point out the difference in crime levels. Occupy Walls Street, in just about every city, every location, was marked by crimes against people and property to a level not seen by any activity of the militia.

        Is this making sense? How can you point out that we need to come together when groups like Occupy Wall Street were divisive. Heck the very name and activity shows rebellion against law and order.

        Bob S.

  4. Part of your argument seems to be that the current view of the 2nd Amendment is twisted seems to be addressed in this article.

    So what do militia-fixated critics of the right to arms have to say about all this? Well, not much. Because if you aim to neuter the right to arms with claims that the amendment is only about militias, you really do have to ignore the Civil War, Reconstruction, the postwar amendments, and indeed most of the 19th century (including antebellum state court decisions holding that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to arms enforceable against the states).

    http://www.libertylawsite.org/2014/07/31/arms-and-the-several-states/

    Bob S.

    1. I have presented viewpoints expressed in two recent scholarly tomes investigating and presenting and overall look at the Amendment in light of many different viewpoints and interpretations..there is a lot in the link and the replies to it as well. I ‘ll ,as I have said, will read this thoroughly and get back to you… I hope this is sufficient at the moment, as I have a lot of other writing to get to.. Peace

      1. CS Bob,
        Thanks for the reply. Trust me when I say that I fully understand time constraints.

        I also appreciate your willingness to review information and discuss it rationally. It is appreciated.

        No worries about time, I really did present the link in order to help further the discussion and inform.

        Bob S.

    2. Almost immediately, i have found an excellent response to Prof. Johnson from Patrick J. Charles. It seems the two of them have ‘locked horns’ before… Charles , of the Urban Law Journal.
      “http://urbanlawjournal.com/second-amendment-and-militia-rights-distinguishing-standard-model-legal-theory-from-historical-record/”
      Charles replies to Johnson’s thesis..”To be clear, where Johnson and I diverge is the scope of any militia-centric Second Amendment rights. While the four corners of the Constitution and the accompanying historical record conveys the Second Amendment militia-centric right as embodying a right to participation in government sanctioned militias,[11] Johnson outright rejects this reading on three grounds. First, he argues such an interpretation is nonsense because the federal and State governments could exclude people from service.[12] Second, he finds it difficult to come up with a “list of illustrations of the militia right in action.”[13] Third and lastly, Johnson argues my militia articulation of the Second Amendment is nothing more than a duty masquerading as a right.[14] Each criticism suffers from the same deficiencies. Johnson not only fails to meet the historian’s burden, but he also outright rejects what constituted a late eighteenth century constitutional well-regulated militia. Johnson is certainly entitled to his opinion that my historical findings are nonsense. It is impossible to take Johnson’s criticisms seriously, however, when he is presenting a twenty-first century argument, not a late eighteenth century one.”… There is much more of a response in the entire article, which, should you be interested in ‘another’ (as Charles calls it, ‘the non standard’ viewpoint)…take a look.. I enjoy our arguments if for no other reason, that much of this is new to me, I am still learning. I am not a legal scholar, but a mere librarian (retired), but I do have a historic interest, I have a B.A. in History and Education and Masters In Library & Information Science, – for the record. -. Peace

      1. I’ll counter with Dave Hardy –

        The works of neither school entertain the possibility that an “either/or” test may be a gross oversimplification of what are in fact two different sets of constitutional priorities. Yet the fact that prior to 1788 the Framers who proposed protections for individuals’ arms did not propose to protect the militia, and those desirous of protecting the militia did not propose safeguards of individual arms, suggests the quixotic nature of previous attempts to demonstrate that the Framers, as a whole, had a single intent. Is it reasonable to assume that John Adams, obsessed with the risk of mob rule, and Thomas Jefferson, who so lightly praised the virtues of frequent revolutions, were of a single mind when it came to popular armaments? When Virginia constitutionalized the principle that a well-regulated militia was necessary to the proper defense of a free state, and Pennsylvania instead guaranteed that the people had a right to bear arms for defense of themselves and the state, was there in fact (p.3)an identical understanding which motivated each statement? Both existing formulations of the second amendment require us to assume precisely that. As a consequence, no existing analysis of that amendment has attempted a critical examination of the proposals for the second amendment against the varied backgrounds and philosophies of their authors, and none has taken account of recent research demonstrating that the different state conventions were dominated by radically differing political philosophies.
        It is the purpose of this article to suggest that in fact neither the collective nor individual school of thought is correct insofar as it claims to entirely explain the second amendment, and both are correct, insofar as they purport to offer partial explanations. The second amendment was not intended to recognize only a single principle; rather, like the first, fourth, fifth, and sixth amendments, it was intended as a composite of constitutional provisions. Its militia component and its right to bear arms recognition have in fact different origins and theoretical underpinnings. One is a legacy of the Renaissance, brought to fruition by the “Classical Republicans;” the other is the creation of seventeenth century English experience, brought to fruition in the Enlightenment. At the time of the framing of our Constitution, the militia statement found its primary constituency among the gentry, particularly that of Virginia. The individual right to bear arms provision was primarily advanced by the Radical movement, particularly in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Only after the Constitution had received its crucial ninth ratification were the two precepts joined into a single sentence, thereby creating a constitutional “package” which addressed the demands of both schools of thought. Thus neither the militia nor the right to bear arms provision can be taken in isolation as a sufficient explanation of the second amendment, a fact made obvious by the first Congress’ retention of both clauses during its extensive paring of Madison’s proposals.[5] The second amendment therefore has historical (p.4)interest which extends beyond militia and arms issues. It is, metaphorically speaking, a fault line in the bedrock of the Constitution; the one place where a rough joinder of related ideas enables us today to discern a turning point between two entirely different American approaches to statecraft.

        http://www.guncite.com/journals/hardhist.html

        For research, I would recommend this entire page
        http://www.guncite.com/journals/

        I’m enjoying the debate also — as iron sharpens iron and all.

        Bob S.

      2. The gun debate in the United States widely revolves around the intended interpretation of the Second Amendment. Those who support gun rights claim that the founding fathers developed and subsequently ratified the Second Amendment to guarantee the individual’s right to keep and bear arms. Those who want more stringent gun laws feel that the founding fathers directed this Amendment solely to the formation of militias and are thus, at least by theory, archaic. – See more at: http://constitution.laws.com/2nd-amendment#sthash.Y6lcC74a.dpuf

        This sort of gives the simplification of the long standing debate in the US. Both David Wiliams and Michael Waldman’s, ‘The Second Amendment: a biography”…present a more nuanced depiction of the history of this Amendment.. I admit , I hold with Williams and Waldman, to a point… I am finding that William’s insistence upon creating a ‘new’ MYTH to go with our new reality is a big stretch ,but his underpinning reasoning is correct… I personally, since delving into this in detail hold that the ‘militia’ concept ended soon after the Constitution was enacted. I also think that there is too much nuance to the Amendment that is not taken into account by yourself and others…. Yes, we have now a Supreme court in D.C. vs. Heller..but, as Law.com article on this reads..”The Second Amendment was drafted to provide for the common defense and the general welfare of the United States through the ability to raise and support militias.” – See more at: http://constitution.laws.com/2nd-amendment#sthash.Y6lcC74a.dpuf. This has yet to be totally defined.. and I believe the often stated ‘keep the slaves’ in place, reasoning also applies in why the Second Amendment was created…To bring the Southern states to approve it. It is NOT as simple , still as either you or I can understand…I am still learning, but this is where I am right now…
        As I have always stated, I grew up with guns, hunting, etc.. around me, it was and still is NOT an issue in itself, but as with any ‘civil right’ in the Bill of Rights or Constitution, there are ‘limitations’.. Okay, your turn… 🙂

    3. You said: “You cite the fact that you were at Occupy Wall Street — So I’ll ask you the same questions

      How did the unregulated (by anyone) Crowd/Militia that descended on Wall Street have any legitimacy?
      How did the Occupy Wall Street differ from the Militia you are reviling?”

      I missed this earlier.. now , firstly, I am not ‘reviling’ anyone or any group, per se.. but as far as OWS…who you seem to be ‘reviling’ here, It was a true grassroots reaction, whose main cause was in response to the massive Inquality in our nation, and how corporations and ‘banks that can’t fail’ were ‘bailed out’… (much of which, the Tea Party was angered about also). The concept of Occupy is still with us… in that they are still doing ‘good’ (with no thought for themselves, in an almost ‘libertarian’ light, went about helping, feeding , and assisting victims of Hurricaine Sandy on the East coast)…they did this completely, non violently (as opposed to the NYPD and their ‘club first and ask later’ policy)… Legitimacy? well, theoretically, they were supported by the FIRST amendment, remember that one?, by seeking ‘redress’ and expressing their ‘freedom to speak’..only. I see no other faults in them. They had a non ‘statist’ approach to governing themselves and actually ‘cleaned up’ after themselves.. I can see no wrong in most everything they did. And they did this all without threatening anyone with firearms or carrying the same, which seemed unnecessary… As I marched with them.. their people were along side us telling us to not resist the police, be ‘non violent’ and keep on the sidewalks in keeping with what the police were asking. I , and my friends, were mostly at peace with the Police while this was going on. I don’t know if that answers your concerns, but I have spoken my peace on that.

      1. Non-violently?
        In a few cases yes, but definitely the Occupy movement had more than a few violent incidents

        Crews cleaned up Oakland’s historic City Hall on Sunday from damage inflicted overnight during violent anti-Wall Street protests that resulted in about 400 arrests, marking one of the largest mass arrests since nationwide protests began last year.

        On Friday night in Washington, D.C., the Occupy protests turned violent when activists marched on the city’s convention center in opposition to an annual summit held by the conservative Americans for Prosperity Foundation. Forbes reports on the conflict:

        Occupiers, many of whom had their faces obscured by masks or bandanas, began banging on the transparent glass walls and doors of the building, demanding entrance, then attempting to gain access by pushing their way in when guests came or went. Eventually all doors bar one at L Street were locked, with AFP guests and accredited press able to do nothing but stand inside and watch the clash intensify, with a line of police and security guards manning the locked doors at the Mt Vernon St entrance.

        And there were many violent and sexual crimes.

        And they did this all without threatening anyone with firearms or carrying the same, which seemed unnecessary

        Sorry but your claims of non-violence are a little hard to believe — and the fact that firearms were not used in the violence doesn’t matter — arms can be anything from knives to staffs to slings to bricks thrown. Saying outbreaks of violence didn’t use a particular subset of arms is not particularly a strong argument.

        I contrast the Occupy Wall Street movement with the TEA Party protests; much less violence, much less crime, and while the people were probably armed with firearms (I know I was) no reports of firearms being used in crime or violence.

        So — again; was the Occupy Wall Street a militia or not?

        Bob S.

      2. simple answer to the militia question.. NO, and they never claimed to b e.. and in many cases the so called ‘violence’ was or were ‘plants’ by the police… especially in Oakland and i n NYC as well… more on that later
        I don’t speak officially for OWS but from my own experience… thousands marched peacefully in NYC… nonviolent resistance was employed yes. so how could they b e called a ‘militia’ when they carried no arms of any sort..

  5. CS Bob,

    I hope this isn’t a departure from the debate but rather a major consideration – re the militia argument

    The gun debate in the United States widely revolves around the intended interpretation of the Second Amendment. Those who support gun rights claim that the founding fathers developed and subsequently ratified the Second Amendment to guarantee the individual’s right to keep and bear arms. Those who want more stringent gun laws feel that the founding fathers directed this Amendment solely to the formation of militias and are thus, at least by theory, archaic

    We both agree that the 2nd Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms, correct?
    The question becomes what regulations or restrictions are permissible regarding firearms. Fair recap?

    I disagree with the idea that militias are ‘archaic’; recent (relatively) events such as the Rodney King LA Riots and Hurricanes such as Andrew, Katrina, Rita, Superstorm Sandy all point to the need for people to form groups for protection of self and community because of failures in the ability of the government to be able to do so.

    So, if the ‘militia’ argument was to hold sway; wouldn’t that turn many of the restrictions on firearms upside down?

    Shouldn’t the people be not only allowed but encouraged to own and train with firearms functionally equivalent to what the military uses?
    Forces under the command of Washington didn’t come with wheel locks or antique ‘hand gonnes’ — they came with almost identical firearms or in the cases of some of the rifles superior.

    So the average individual — without approval from the government (i’ll come back to that) should be able to buy select fire weaponry like Squad Automatic Weapons, or M-4/M16. They should be able to purchase and train with anti-tank rockets, etc.

    The reason I state without approval of the government is simply because the government can determine who gets to participate or stay in the militia (enumerated power) but not who is equipped to join. This is true of the Federal government (hey we don’t want anyone who will resist the federal government in the state militia — kind defeats the purpose, eh) and the state government ( we don’t want those ____fill in the blank___ type of people being able to join – re the southern states you mentioned) and because eligibility from one state to the next might vary.

    The 2nd Amendment is nuanced but the theory and law, in my opinion, definitely leans more toward the individual side than the state/militia only/restrictive gun control laws side.

    Bob S.

  6. CS Bob,

    I was wondering if you have any thoughts on two different situations worlds apart so to speak as they relate to the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

    I’m referring to Ferguson Missouri and the ISIS/ Yezidi situation in Iraq.

    Bob S.

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