The Second Amendment

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The Second Amendment

Post by Henrik on Mon Jul 28 2014, 19:40

Intrigued by some writings I have seen on Facebook recently, I decided to improve my knowledge and understanding of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. This is obviously the amendment to the constitution that covers the right to bear arms, and forms the cornerstone for all arguments pro-gun advocates will express. It is always used as the supporting argument that it is the constitutional right of all citizens of the US to bear arms.

I suppose much can be said about the second amendment, but I think the first thing is that it was ratified in 1791. That is well over 200 years ago, and I think it is safe to say the world was quite different back then from what it is today. Perhaps one of the most dramatic changes is that the population in 1790 was 3’929’214, and it is today estimated to be over 317’000’000. In a land the size of the US, one simply can’t apply the same sort of rules and regulations on a total population of 4 million as one does on 317 million. It may be hard to imagine today how that impacts communities and how people live together, but consider then that the total population of the USA in 1790 is equivalent to the total population of the city of Los Angeles today. So, imagine taking L.A. and then spreading it across all of the US.

However, more than the second amendment, it is really D.C. v. Heller that provides a firm basis for the right to bear fire arms, but I think many of the pro-gun lobby is not even familiar with this. Obviously a text such as the second amendment, having been written over 200 years ago, is open to much interpretation. Thus the D.C. v. Heller case sets a supreme court ruling as recently as 2008 that clearly approves the right for all individuals to possess handguns and other fire arms.

What I find interesting is that the Scalia majority (it was only a 5 to 4 majority) presents updated interpretations of what is a gun etc. however they completely avoid the issue of how society has evolved since the constitution. Yes, technology has evolved so muskets and flintlock pistols of 1790 are today’s AR15’s and Glocks. But we no longer live “in the wild”. You simply can’t just acknowledge one side of progress and totally ignore a whole other one that is in my opinion considerably more important.

Then again, perhaps the D.C. v. Heller ruling is the real indicator as to where the US society is today, or how little it has actually evolved since the constitution was written. I guess there is still a long way to go.

Personally I find it amazing that the Supreme Court was able to make such a ruling. Reading the text of the second amendment, there is in my opinion and interpretation absolutely no mention of each individual having the rights to keep loaded weapons at home in order to defend themselves against criminals. The text 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.

Simply put, the right to keep and bear arms is so that the people may be part of a regulated militia. I do not believe an individual with an AR15 in his or her home to fight criminals constitutes a regulated militia. The text is even a bit contradictory as it refers to both well regulated and not be infringed. When the government tries to regulate gun ownership in the US, pro-gun lobbies instantly scream that any attempt to regulate guns is un-constitutional.

Often those that are pro-guns will claim that the first part of the text i.e. the reference to a well-regulated militia is not pertinent anymore since this was clearly something that was required in 1790 but in today’s society things are very different. However, the second part is the important one that gives them the constitutional right to bear arms. By only focusing on the second part, one completely eliminates the actual reason as to why guns should be kept by the people, and isn’t that convenient since that reason that existed at the time of the writing no longer exist. As a result, the right to keep and bear arms should no longer exist either.

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Re: The Second Amendment

Post by Danny Boy on Wed Jul 30 2014, 06:53

America was formed by the misfits, outcasts, dregs and religious bigots that were not wanted in Europe, plus Jews from Russia who were the biggest crooks in the world.

The have evolved into the most ignorant and bigoted nation that claims to be part of the educated world and have done more harm around the world with their greed and corrupt political aims than any other country since time began.
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Re: The Second Amendment

Post by Henrik on Wed Jul 30 2014, 09:32

Just to show how evolved they are, the second amendment was based on the English Bill of Rights from 1689 that was to protect Protestants from being disarmed by the Crown. Stuff that is really pertinent and up to date in 2014...

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Re: The Second Amendment

Post by Gelert on Wed Jul 30 2014, 19:57

Bloody English....!
England was formed by the misfits, outcasts, dregs and religious bigots that were not wanted in Europe, plus Jews from Russia who were the biggest crooks in the world.
But you try and tell the young these days, and they won't believe you...

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Re: The Second Amendment

Post by Danny Boy on Wed Jul 30 2014, 20:01

Gelert wrote:
But you try and tell the young these days, and they won't believe you...

I know, they think they all ended up in the Swindon area.  Twisted Evil 
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Re: The Second Amendment

Post by Gelert on Wed Jul 30 2014, 20:26

Danny Boy wrote:
Gelert wrote:
But you try and tell the young these days, and they won't believe you...

I know, they think they all ended up in the Swindon area.  Twisted Evil 
That's like me saying you support Arsenal because they're a London Team too...
Swindon?
Miles away Man!  Mad

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