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LNP - Analyzing the Second Amendment

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LTnewsDawg

People like Sam Nelson (“Stand up for the Second Amendment,” June 20) always forget about the first part of the Second Amendment — “A well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free state ... .” They always leave that out because they put their love of guns before our citizens, especially children.

It’s not a lie that we would be safer without guns. If the only way you could buy a gun was on the black market, it would be very difficult to get and extremely expensive. Those young-men-turned-killers at Columbine could never have afforded those guns, even if they knew where to get them.

If the AR-15 isn’t an assault weapon, then what is it? It’s not for hunting deer. A responsible gun owner wouldn’t buy such a machine designed for one purpose.

Another crazy argument is protection. If you think somebody is trying to kill you, the average citizen is too unstable to have a gun.

George Mason, whom Nelson quoted in his letter, lived in the time when we had no standing Army, thus, “a well-regulated militia.” Mason was talking about a tyrannical government who had the same weapons as its citizens so the citizens could defend themselves against it. Today, the government has drones, tanks and weapons we don’t even know about.

Gun lovers live in a fantasy world. They think that having more guns will somehow make us safe, even though statistics show that it’s not true.

If a child on a playground had a stick that they were hitting other kids with, would you take the stick away or give all the other kids sticks? Let’s stand up for the Second Amendment — muskets for everybody!

Christine Macready

West Hempfield Township

 

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Farmer Vincent

As a reminder, the well regulated militia was approved for states to put down citizen rebellions.  

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GeezUS

People like Sam Nelson (“Stand up for the Second Amendment,†June 20) always forget about the first part of the Second Amendment — “A well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free state ... .†They always leave that out ...

 

Let’s stand up for the Second Amendment — muskets for everybody!

 

No one leaves out the Militia part, but what most leave out is what is in bold below...

 

"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."

 

Muskets were the state-of-the-art assault rifles of their day.

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Farmer Vincent

No one leaves out the Militia part, but what most leave out is what is in bold below...

 

"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."

 

Muskets were the state-of-the-art assault rifles of their day.

The people weren't granted the right to bear arms in the second amendment.  That was only for members of state militias.  Twice state militias were mustered, once to put down the Whiskey Rebellion and then Shays Rebellion.  However, there were few restrictions on gun ownership in colonial times.  It wasn't permitted to sell guns to Indians, for example, but in a couple of states the law was changed so that guns could be sold to friendly Indians.  Slaves couldn't have a gun but freed slaves could.  Women who were the head of the household could have a gun.  Militia service was generally required for males between the ages of 16 and 18, so most kept their guns after service.  Some guns were confiscated from religious pacifists but you could still have a gun if you refused militia service but swore a loyalty oath.  

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Farmer Vincent

It's your interpretation of it. I've read the 2nd amendment hundreds of times and just don't see where anyone had to be part of a militia. And neither did...

 

The case of District of Columbia v. Heller (07-290) ... proclaimed that the Second Amendment established an individual right for U.S. citizens to possess firearms.

2008 is a long way from colonial America and I think the ruling arrived at reflects that amount of time that the original intent of the amendment was way out of date with the changes that have taken place.  There's no longer a need for state militias because we've had a strong federal government for so long.  If you read the dissents in the case, Justice Stevens is correct in noting that the right to bear arms was intended for military purposes, not private citizens, including what would be the right of private citizens to bear arms for criminal purposes.  It was also not the right for citizens to have sawed-off shotguns.  But the ruling went the way it did and so it appears that the base interpretation arrived at is now distanced from that original intent that gun advocates wearing their tri-cornered hats are so fond of claiming was written in stone.  

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Farmer Vincent

The failure of the Second Amendment: Our founders got this one wrong in every respect

 

"The fact that the United States has and continues experience staggering levels of gun-related deaths, despite presently having well over 330 million guns in the country, is clear demonstration that being well armed as a society does not equate to being safe in a broader sense.   

This makes for a strong argument that the Second Amendment is a failed amendment – a hopelessly entrenched piece of legislation that has continually fallen short of its expectations and has contributed more to depriving Americans of the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness than to protecting those same rights."

 

http://www.salon.com/2016/06/27/the_failure_of_the_second_amendment_our_founders_got_this_one_wrong_in_every_respect/

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simpleton

The failure of the Second Amendment: Our founders got this one wrong in every respect

 

"The fact that the United States has and continues experience staggering levels of gun-related deaths, despite presently having well over 330 million guns in the country, is clear demonstration that being well armed as a society does not equate to being safe in a broader sense.

This makes for a strong argument that the Second Amendment is a failed amendment – a hopelessly entrenched piece of legislation that has continually fallen short of its expectations and has contributed more to depriving Americans of the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness than to protecting those same rights."

http://www.salon.com/2016/06/27/the_failure_of_the_second_amendment_our_founders_got_this_one_wrong_in_every_respect/

There is a mechanism in place to change the Constitution. The founders weren't wrong at all.

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Farmer Vincent

There is a mechanism in place to change the Constitution. The founders weren't wrong at all.

That can be ignored because in the real world just about everyone knows that a change to update second amendment would never pass.  The NRA and gun advocates are happy with their interpretation of protecting the rights of private citizens to bear arms while ignoring the militia part.  

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simpleton

That can be ignored because in the real world just about everyone knows that a change to update second amendment would never pass.  The NRA and gun advocates are happy with their interpretation of protecting the rights of private citizens to bear arms while ignoring the militia part.  

It can be ignored?  Why?

 

The fact is that there are so many guns in this country because there are so many law abiding citizens who own them.  Liberals, too.  Blame the NRA all you want, that's not the reason.  

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Farmer Vincent

It can be ignored?  Why?

 

The fact is that there are so many guns in this country because there are so many law abiding citizens who own them.  Liberals, too.  Blame the NRA all you want, that's not the reason.  

I think an attempt to change the second amendment would be futile or a political stunt that would waste a lot of time and effort as well as potentially cause a lot of divisiveness.  Challenges to gun laws like the one in Maine can be handled without changing that vague amendment.  

 

There are also so many guns in this country that it's common for criminals have them and can get more easily as well as the door being fairly open for terrorists to get them too.  The second amendment didn't intend for criminals to have them but that is the result of it being interpreted the way it has and why it's considered a failed amendment. Failed because it hasn't been enforced according to intent of controlling who is and isn't allowed to have guns but on the other hand it's also good that states didn't continue to have their own little armies to put down what they saw as citizen rebellions.  

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simpleton

I would argue that your reasons are exactly why the amendment, and the Constitution do work.  I don't think the founders wanted anyone, particularly the government to control who does and doesn't have all of the rights afforded them by the Constitution.  I do think they left the door open to amend the Constitution for a reason, but they made it difficult to do so for a reason as well.  

 

But since when are risk of failure or risk of divisiveness good reasons not to do something you believe so strongly in?

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Farmer Vincent

I would argue that your reasons are exactly why the amendment, and the Constitution do work.  I don't think the founders wanted anyone, particularly the government to control who does and doesn't have all of the rights afforded them by the Constitution.  I do think they left the door open to amend the Constitution for a reason, but they made it difficult to do so for a reason as well.  

 

But since when are risk of failure or risk of divisiveness good reasons not to do something you believe so strongly in?

Sounds like you're going by the popular interpretation of the second amendment where the militia part is ignored.  I'm fairly sure that wasn't the intent.  The founders wanted the states to have protection against a federal standing army and the ability to put down citizen rebellions.  The militias were generally composed of conscripts who were loyal to wealthy landowners who sometimes imposed oppressive taxes.  So much water over the dam though. 

 

It's not up to me personally to call for a Constitutional convention.  

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simpleton

Sounds like you're going by the popular interpretation of the second amendment where the militia part is ignored.  I'm fairly sure that wasn't the intent.  The founders wanted the states to have protection against a federal standing army and the ability to put down citizen rebellions.  The militias were generally composed of conscripts who were loyal to wealthy landowners who sometimes imposed oppressive taxes.  So much water over the dam though. 

 

It's not up to me personally to call for a Constitutional convention.  

Your missing my point.  It's not so much about interpreting the 2nd amendment as it is how it fits with the entire Constitution.

 

You seem to want to deny people access to guns based on what you think they might do, a suspected mental illness, or placing people on a variety of lists.  Those things are anathema to what our Constitution is about.  Like it or not, people do have the right to own guns.  Even without the 2nd amendment, people would be able to own guns.  My feeling is that one of the things the Constitution affords is is the right to not have our rights taken away from us, except under limited circumstances.  You want the government to be able to deny that to people without just cause.  We simply do not deny people rights because of what we suspect they might do.  That is not what this country is about.  I think we know what happens when governments begin to deny people their rights without just cause.

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Farmer Vincent

Your missing my point.  It's not so much about interpreting the 2nd amendment as it is how it fits with the entire Constitution.

 

You seem to want to deny people access to guns based on what you think they might do, a suspected mental illness, or placing people on a variety of lists.  Those things are anathema to what our Constitution is about.  Like it or not, people do have the right to own guns.  Even without the 2nd amendment, people would be able to own guns.  My feeling is that one of the things the Constitution affords is is the right to not have our rights taken away from us, except under limited circumstances.  You want the government to be able to deny that to people without just cause.  We simply do not deny people rights because of what we suspect they might do.  That is not what this country is about.  I think we know what happens when governments begin to deny people their rights without just cause.

People who possess guns have been denying other people the Constitutionally protected right to life by the thousands per year for some time now.  Reasonable people try to find a balance between being able to have a gun and being able to live and it seems like people wanting to not be shot aren't given enough say on the issue.  

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GeezUS

Reasonable people try to find a balance between being able to have a gun and being able to live and it seems like people wanting to not be shot aren't given enough say on the issue.  

 

No one wants to be shot... including the (now) over 9,000,000 AR-15 owners. 8,999,994 of them are responsible owners and 6 were not. 99.99993333333333% of all AR owners are responsible owners. Not sure it's humanly possible being able to get that much closer to 100% than it already is.

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Farmer Vincent

No one wants to be shot... including the (now) over 9,000,000 AR-15 owners. 8,999,994 of them are responsible owners and 6 were not. 99.99993333333333% of all AR owners are responsible owners. Not sure it's humanly possible being able to get that much closer to 100% than it already is.

The woman in Texas was one of them until she wasn't.  The mother of the Sandy Hook shooter too.  100% of AR-15 owners have the potential to become infamous like that at any given moment.  Being responsible at this instant isn't a guarantee that they will be forever.  

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GeezUS

The woman in Texas was one of them until she wasn't....  Being responsible at this instant isn't a guarantee that they will be forever.  

 

I thought the Texas mom used  a .38 handgun.

 

No guarantees in life.

 

26 people died today because a few are not responsible drinkers.

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simpleton

 

People who possess guns have been denying other people the Constitutionally protected right to life by the thousands per year for some time now. Reasonable people try to find a balance between being able to have a gun and being able to live and it seems like people wanting to not be shot aren't given enough say on the issue.

What percentage of the population is killed by guns each year?

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Farmer Vincent

I thought the Texas mom used  a .38 handgun.

 

No guarantees in life.

 

26 people died today because a few are not responsible drinkers.

Many died because crops failed.  Some died because they couldn't swim.  Others died because they picked up an infection while in the hospital.  We choose our battles and I've fought some on a few fronts.  But what I don't do is say that innocent people being torn to pieces in gun violence isn't worth being concerned about because there's something else that kills people too.  All those victims of gun violence have names, faces, families, many with hopes and dreams.  It's one thing when a shooter guns down a specific person for a specific reason.  But it's another when someone picks up an efficient killing machine with the intent to simply and indiscriminately kill as many men, women, and children as they can with no care in the world whether they're good, bad, the same religion, or whatever.  It's madness and there should be attempts made to stop that madness with whatever reasonable means are available.  

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prettylight

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