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Parry writes: "A big obstacle to commonsense gun control is the Right's false historical narrative that the Founders wanted an armed American public that could fight its own government. The truth is that George Washington looked to citizens militias to put down revolts and maintain order."

President George Washington, as Commander-in-Chief, leading a combined force of state militias against the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794. (photo: Consortium News)
President George Washington, as Commander-in-Chief, leading a combined force of state militias against the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794. (photo: Consortium News)


The Right's Second Amendment Lies

By Robert Parry, Consortium News

22 December 12

 

ight-wing resistance to meaningful gun control is driven, in part, by a false notion that America's Founders adopted the Second Amendment because they wanted an armed population that could battle the U.S. government. The opposite is the truth, but many Americans seem to have embraced this absurd, anti-historical narrative.

The reality was that the Framers wrote the Constitution and added the Second Amendment with the goal of creating a strong central government with a citizens-based military force capable of putting down insurrections, not to enable or encourage uprisings. The key Framers, after all, were mostly men of means with a huge stake in an orderly society, the likes of George Washington and James Madison.

The men who gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 weren't precursors to France's Robespierre or Russia's Leon Trotsky, believers in perpetual revolutions. In fact, their work on the Constitution was influenced by the experience of Shays' Rebellion in western Massachusetts in 1786, a populist uprising that the weak federal government, under the Articles of Confederation, lacked an army to defeat.

Daniel Shays, the leader of the revolt, was a former Continental Army captain who joined with other veterans and farmers to take up arms against the government for failing to address their economic grievances.

The rebellion alarmed retired Gen. George Washington who received reports on the developments from old Revolutionary War associates in Massachusetts, such as Gen. Henry Knox and Gen. Benjamin Lincoln. Washington was particularly concerned that the disorder might serve the interests of the British, who had only recently accepted the existence of the United States.

On Oct. 22, 1786, in a letter seeking more information from a friend in Connecticut, Washington wrote: "I am mortified beyond expression that in the moment of our acknowledged independence we should by our conduct verify the predictions of our transatlantic foe, and render ourselves ridiculous and contemptible in the eyes of all Europe."

In another letter on Nov. 7, 1786, Washington questioned Gen. Lincoln about the spreading unrest. "What is the cause of all these commotions? When and how will they end?" Lincoln responded: "Many of them appear to be absolutely so [mad] if an attempt to annihilate our present constitution and dissolve the present government can be considered as evidence of insanity."

However, the U.S. government lacked the means to restore order, so wealthy Bostonians financed their own force under Gen. Lincoln to crush the uprising in February 1787. Afterwards, Washington expressed satisfaction at the outcome but remained concerned the rebellion might be a sign that European predictions about American chaos were coming true.

"If three years ago [at the end of the American Revolution] any person had told me that at this day, I should see such a formidable rebellion against the laws & constitutions of our own making as now appears I should have thought him a bedlamite - a fit subject for a mad house," Washington wrote to Knox on Feb. 3, 1787, adding that if the government "shrinks, or is unable to enforce its laws … anarchy & confusion must prevail."

Washington's alarm about Shays' Rebellion was a key factor in his decision to take part in - and preside over - the Constitutional Convention, which was supposed to offer revisions to the Articles of Confederation but instead threw out the old structure entirely and replaced it with the U.S. Constitution, which shifted national sovereignty from the 13 states to "We the People" and dramatically enhanced the power of the central government.

A central point of the Constitution was to create a peaceful means for the United States to implement policies favored by the people but within a structure of checks and balances to prevent radical changes deemed too disruptive to the established society. For instance, the two-year terms of the House of Representatives were meant to reflect the popular will but the six-year terms of the Senate were designed to temper the passions of the moment.

Within this framework of a democratic Republic, the Framers criminalized taking up arms against the government. Article IV, Section 4 committed the federal government to protect each state from not only invasion but "domestic Violence," and treason is one of the few crimes defined in the Constitution as "levying war against" the United States as well as giving "Aid and Comfort" to the enemy (Article III, Section 3).

But it was the Constitution's drastic expansion of federal power that prompted strong opposition from some Revolutionary War figures, such as Virginia's Patrick Henry who denounced the Constitution and rallied a movement known as the Anti-Federalists. Prospects for the Constitution's ratification were in such doubt that its principal architect James Madison joined in a sales campaign known as the Federalist Papers in which he tried to play down how radical his changes actually were.

To win over other skeptics, Madison agreed to support a Bill of Rights, which would be proposed as the first ten amendments to the Constitution. Madison's political maneuvering succeeded as the Constitution narrowly won approval in key states, such as Virginia, New York and Massachusetts. The First Congress then approved the Bill of Rights which were ratified in 1791. [For details, see Robert Parry's America's Stolen Narrative.]

Behind the Second Amendment

The Second Amendment dealt with concerns about "security" and the need for trained militias to ensure what the Constitution called "domestic Tranquility." There was also hesitancy among many Framers about the costs and risks from a large standing army, thus making militias composed of citizens an attractive alternative.

So, the Second Amendment read: "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." Contrary to some current right-wing fantasies about the Framers wanting to encourage popular uprisings over grievances, the language of the amendment is clearly aimed at maintaining order within the country.

That point was driven home by the actions of the Second Congress amid another uprising which erupted in 1791 in western Pennsylvania. This anti-tax revolt, known as the Whiskey Rebellion, prompted Congress in 1792 to expand on the idea of "a well-regulated militia" by passing the Militia Acts which required all military-age white males to obtain their own muskets and equipment for service in militias.

In 1794, President Washington, who was determined to demonstrate the young government's resolve, led a combined force of state militias against the Whiskey rebels. Their revolt soon collapsed and order was restored, demonstrating how the Second Amendment helped serve the government in maintaining "security," as the Amendment says.

Beyond this clear historical record - that the Framers' intent was to create security for the new Republic, not promote armed rebellions - there is also the simple logic that the Framers represented the young nation's aristocracy. Many, like Washington, owned vast tracts of land. They recognized that a strong central government and domestic tranquility were in their economic interests.

So, it would be counterintuitive - as well as anti-historical - to believe that Madison and Washington wanted to arm the population so the discontented could resist the constitutionally elected government. In reality, the Framers wanted to arm the people - at least the white males - so uprisings, whether economic clashes like Shays' Rebellion, anti-tax protests like the Whiskey Rebellion, attacks by Native Americans or slave revolts, could be repulsed.

However, the Right has invested heavily during the last several decades in fabricating a different national narrative, one that ignores both logic and the historical record. In this right-wing fantasy, the Framers wanted everyone to have a gun so they could violently resist their own government. To that end, a few incendiary quotes are cherry-picked or taken out of context.

This "history" has then been amplified through the Right's powerful propaganda apparatus - Fox News, talk radio, the Internet and ideological publications - to persuade millions of Americans that their possession of semi-automatic assault rifles and other powerful firearms is what the Framers intended, that today's gun-owners are fulfilling some centuries-old American duty.

The mythology about the Framers and the Second Amendment is, of course, only part of the fake history that the Right has created to persuade ill-informed Tea Partiers that they should dress up in Revolutionary War costumes and channel the spirits of men like Washington and Madison.

But this gun fable is particularly insidious because it obstructs efforts by today's government to enact commonsense gun-control laws and thus the false narrative makes possible the kinds of slaughters that erupt periodically across the United States, most recently in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 schoolchildren and six teachers were murdered in minutes by an unstable young man with a civilian version of the M-16 combat rifle.

While it's absurd to think that the Founders could have even contemplated such an act - in their 18th Century world of single-fire muskets that required time-consuming reloading - right-wing gun advocates have evaded that obvious reality by postulating that Washington, Madison and other Framers would have wanted a highly armed population to commit what the Constitution defined as treason against the United States.

Today's American Right is drunk on some very bad history, which is as dangerous as it is false.



Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, "Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush," was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at neckdeepbook.com. His two previous books, "Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq" and "Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth'" are also available there.

 

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+73 # jmac9 2012-12-22 11:47
Adam Lanza and his mother were not members of a "well regulated milita."

The Colorado nut who killed people in the movie theater was not a member of a "well regulated militia."

You, with your insane stockpile of guns and ammo - so fearful and weak - you have all that weaponry as testament to weakness not strength - You are not a member of a "well regulated militia."

therefore, you have no constitutional protection to possess, buy, military grade weapons of murder.
 
 
+5 # dovelane1 2012-12-25 05:58
MoveOn.org is starting a petition which would beef our badly misused national guard and make all arguments moot. It is:

The petition is addressed to The United States House of Representatives , The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama, and reads:

The Second Amendment 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."
Let everyone keep their guns. To do so, though, they must join a well regulated militia.

We call upon the Congress to pass a law requiring gun owners to join their state units of the National Guard, replete with background checks and psychological fitness evaluations, training on use and storage of a firearm.

Such legislation will not only make America safer from gun violence; It will also increase the readiness of our armed forces and our domestic ability to respond to crises major and minor.

Here's what Brian (the author) wrote about it:

The Second Amendment ties guns to national safety and defense. Own a gun? No problem! Join the National Guard, go through the training, background checks, psychological screenings and correct weapon handling procedures and help secure and defend your country domestically and abroad, if need be.
 
 
+4 # bigkahuna671 2012-12-25 10:26
Since when was Wayne LaPierre a member of a well-regulated militia? He touts the 2nd Amendment but apparently hasn't really read it. If he had, he'd see he's not entitled to carry a firearm, at least according to the Constitution he constantly refers to. In fact, maybe that's the way we should apply the gun-toting aspect of the 2nd Amendment - you may only have a weapon if you actually served in the military or as a law enforcement professional. I suspect that would eliminate nearly have the numbskulls out there who claim to be exercising their 2nd Amendment rights. It would make our kids safer, as most childhood gun deaths are accidental, because their idiot parents didn't properly follow simple rules of safety and unload their weapon, put on a locking trigger mechanism, and then lock the gun(s) in a gun-safe. But then, most of those bozos don't have the common sense God gives a baboon. Lanza's mother would not have had all those guns if she'd been required to have served and Jared Loughner wouldn't have been allowed to purchase a gun and kill 6 in Tucson while shooting Cong. Gabby Giffords so badly she was forced to leave office. But then, the gun industry would have to close shop and rely on sales to the Pentagon and law enforcement. As a retired Marine who actually saw combat, the pro-gun lobby and its supporters (check the military backgrounds of our GOP congressmen/wom en) disgusts me. I truly believe they should be sent to Afghan. to replace the men coming home!!!
 
 
+57 # davidr 2012-12-22 14:00
Succinct & well-said. The 2d Amend is nothing like the 1st, for example, which concerns liberties so fundamental as to be natural rights (free speech & conscience, assembly & petition). Nor does the 2d address timeless guarantees of English Common Law like the 4th-8th (homes are castles, charges must be warranted, trials fair & speedy).

The Framers don't say WHY free speech is granted, nor WHY one's home is sacrosanct. Those things are self-evident in Jefferson's earlier phrase. But they did explain the 2d Amend. WHY shall the right of the people to keep and bear arms not be infringed? BECAUSE a well regulated militia is necessary for security. (And, btw, the regulation will ultimately be federal - Art I Sec 8; Art II Sec 2.)

So, this 2d Amend right does not come down from the empyrean. It attaches to a specific reason, as if to say, "Look,we wouldn't be encoding this in our Constitution, but for one practical 18th century concern. We need well-regulated militias, OK? And if we need to have the troops sleep in your houses, we'll let you know." (3d Amend - no quartering of troops, except in war & then as prescribed by law.)

The reason attaching to the 2d Amend is not some deathless right of Englishmen to own weapons. No such right was recognized, then or now. Neither is it the natural right of self-defense, which the Framers were perfectly capable of saying if they had meant more than managing a militia. The 2d Amend is not at all what the NRA says it is.
 
 
+46 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-12-22 15:28
All true and well put, but the problem is even simpler than that:

The framers granted the right to bear arms in order to have a (well-regulated ) as a cheaper alternative to a standing army.

There has been a standing army since December 7th, 1941 - why do we still need the 2nd amendment?
 
 
+11 # barryg 2012-12-22 17:30
Because there is a difference between a professional army, the one we have now, and a drafted army of irregulars. The drafted Army will revolt at some point, if abused, and the families of the drafted army will revolt if their children are dying in an unjust war.

The army revolted in the Vietnam war and ended the war which cost the banks and industrialists profits.
 
 
+9 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-12-22 21:40
I fail to see your point, Barry.

First, we now have a professional army, so who will revolt? (BTW the drafted US army was regular.)

Second, would you rather face the peaceniks of Kent state or some armed mob? (Do you remember who shot whom in that sorry story?)

Third, "The army revolted in the Vietnam war" - could you point me to your sources?
For the sake of the argument, let's posit your last sentence is factually accurate (it is not); do you really think an armed population would have forced the army to continue the war? What's your point?

I stand by my assessment: whether conscript or professional, a standing army removes the need for the well-regulated militia as conceived by the framers, hence the 2nd amendment does not apply anymore.
 
 
+1 # ladybug 2012-12-24 12:55
And they did it without assault weapons
 
 
-42 # Martintfre 2012-12-22 16:50
//The 2d Amend is nothing like the 1st, for example, which concerns liberties so fundamental as to be natural rights//

What can be more of a natural right then the right to self defense and the means to enforce it?
 
 
+24 # davidr 2012-12-22 18:15
Self-defense is a natural right & a legal defense (I've not heard anyone in the gun debate say otherwise). However, self-defense is not the rationale for the 2d Amendment. It just isn't.

Of all the provisions of the Constitution, the Preamble & the 2d Amend are unique in stating a purpose. Those particular sections don't just say how it's going to be, they say why. So instead of saying simply that "the right of the people to keep & bear arms shall not be infringed," the Framers quite particularly chose to circumscribe that right with a reason. If the reason they had in mind were "defense of one's person being necessary," they had all the rhetorical wherewithal to say precisely that.

But that isn't anything like what they said, so we can be pretty sure it isn't what they had in mind. We can take them at their word. They were concerned with having armed forces for purposes of national ("state") security. The phrase "bear arms," btw, is used exclusively in the 18th century to describe military service. There is no example of someone describing a hunter or individual gun owner as "bearing arms."

The language and intent of the 2d Amend did not establish the Constitutional right of an individual to own a gun (though SCOTUS has very recently said otherwise). Nor did it deny such right. Nor was it intended to prohibit any jurisdiction from legislating on individual use & possession of firearms. Gun rights are property rights, subject to reasonable regulation.
 
 
+17 # Krulick 2012-12-22 18:47
Societies almost universally recognize a "right" to self-defense; but they also recognize no particular "right" to any means or method each person might desire. Indeed, they have NEVER recognized an absolute right for any person to own and brandish whatever weapons one chose, or allowed them to be used in all places at all times. The PRIVILEGE to have access to or use particular weapons has ALWAYS been subject to restriction and regulation, even now, and even under the latest SCotUS interpretation of an individual "right" (one which they pulled from thin air, absent any evidence from the time of the drafting and passage of the 2nd amendment). They were not insane enough to suggest, for example, that anyone could bring firearms into Congress or their own court, or that felons or infants had any "right" to such weapons; had it been a TRUE "individual" right, such as freedom of religion or speech, which ALL individuals have as recognized, they couldn't have restricted it thusly.
 
 
+3 # BradFromSalem 2012-12-24 04:41
Martinfre,

Think it through. You have a gun and you don't belong to the National Guard or even a police force. Are you a member of a well regulated militia? Where regulations are described in law? NO. The Right of the People to bear arms is only for use in a militia, which is regulated.

If there is anything that violates the 2nd Amendment it is the fact that we have a standing army, ready to go into war at a moment's notice by the President.
 
 
+1 # Krulick 2012-12-24 10:37
A standing army doesn't actually violate the 2nd Amen; it just stands outside it. The militia was modernized in 1903 as the National Guard, because the original universal system didn't work. If there is a violation, it might be that the NG is deployed overseas, instead of being federalized for domestic purposes like insurrection.
 
 
+13 # robcarter.vn 2012-12-22 17:17
Davidr & P)arry between them spell out the great ligic of two centuries ago Seccinctly as you say. But this is no no longer "In 1794, President Washington, who was determined to demonstrate the young government's resolve, led a combined force of state militias against the Whiskey rebels" a 'young Government' that is the difference now. Also that "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." Doesn't and can't exist now, its a bunch of Gungho untrained wanting guns at home to bully Individuals not rebellions. IN USA 60 yesars of past 60 yesars ZERO private guns and malitias were called into service at all.

What suited 210 years ago is not suited now or you woulodnb;t be approving gay marriages and Marijuana?
 
 
-17 # Smiley 2012-12-22 17:23
There is ample evidence from the framers on both sides of this issue. They were of one mind about few things.
 
 
+18 # Krulick 2012-12-22 18:53
Read the debates in Congress over the passage of this amendment; they ONLY discussed the composition of the militia and whether anyone "scrupulous of bearing arms," i.e., serving as a SOLDIER in the MILITIA, should have to serve if it violated their conscience:
the 1789 debates IN Congress, where NO OTHER SUBJECT BUT THE MILITIA is addressed!

(All quotes taken verbatim from "Creating the Bill of Rights" ed. Veit, Rowling, Bickford; Debates in the House of Representatives , August 1789; pp. 182-4, 198-9)

Rep. Boudinot said, "What dependence can be placed in men who are conscientious in this respect? Or what justice can there be in compelling them to bear arms, when, if they are honest men they would rather die than use them."

By the way, if there is STILL any question about EXACTLY WHAT "bear arms" means, READ that again:

"what justice can there be in compelling them to bear arms"

Compelling them to bear arms! There is no other way to read that phrase EXCEPT as "compelling them to possibly use firearms to kill while serving in the militia"! Not "compelling them to ‘carry a gun’ on their person"... why would Congress want to compel ANYONE to carry a gun? Need MORE proof?:

"The words ‘in person’ were added after the word ‘arms,’ (No person religiously scrupulous shall be compelled to bear arms IN PERSON), and the amendment was adopted."

For more details, go to http://kryo.com/2ndAmen/Terms.htm
 
 
+8 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-12-22 21:47
Excellent comment.

"The people have the right to bear arms" meaning "the people have the right to enlist in the armed forces".

Well, they do, don't they?
 
 
+7 # Krulick 2012-12-23 09:00
Madison believed in the virtue of a "universal" militia of citizen-soldier s (i.e. free, adult, property-owning white males only, serving required conscript duty), controlled by state legislatures and governors, with local officers the troops knew and trusted. He did not favor "select" militias (a smaller, better-trained elite corps) or standing armies, as the more-militarily -experienced Hamilton and Washington did. The Militia Act of 1791 fleshed out the Constitution's militia clauses using Madison's model, requiring every qualified, non-exempt adult white male to secure, at his own expense, a standard militia musket and supplies -- making it more of a burden and tax than what we would consider a "right" -- and muster himself and register his militia weapons each year in an organized state militia.

HIS draft of a militia amendment was based on Jefferson’s request that the state militias maintain primacy over a standing army, and that the right of the STATES to maintain their pre-existing militias wouldn’t be weakened or destroyed by the feds, either through action or inaction. That it was strictly a militia amendment can be seen in his complete draft of the amendment, which essentially DEFINES "bearing arms" as "to render military service in person" and included a conscientious objector clause.
 
 
+4 # Krulick 2012-12-23 09:02
The ONLY right that can be called INDIVIDUAL, since the word "individual" does NOT appear IN the 2nd Amen, which means such interpretation is NOT clear, but must be inferred, is the RIGHT of "the people" which is a collective term in itself. The SCotUS says "The People" which is a "class of persons" (United States v. Verdugo-Urquide z), in this case, in 1789, the class comprising able-bodied property-owning white males of suitable age and not in prison, have the right to "bear arms," which is a military term equal to "serve as a soldier" in the state-run militia. The state has the right, or authority, or power to appoint officers and maintain the militia. The feds can’t force the weapons to be stored in some depository, hence those INDIVIDUALS enrolled in the militia who have also enrolled (that is, REGISTERED) their guns (see Militia Act of 1792) may store their PERSONAL MILITIA weapons at their homes. AS members of the class of voters, i.e., the enfranchised body politic, they also participate in the "keep arms" function, which involves maintaining the "upkeep and readiness" of that militia. That’s it.
 
 
+5 # Krulick 2012-12-23 09:03
There IS nothing in the 2nd Amen to EXCLUDE individual private ownership of arms. But there’s nothing in the 2nd Amen to GUARANTEE absolute individual ownership of arms either! That’s because the 2nd Amen wasn’t ABOUT that! Those individuals who qualified for "bearing arms" (serving) within a well regulated militia could not be deprived of owning and storing at home THOSE weapons in service to the militia, such weapons being inspected and "enrolled" (registered) each year during the call up for drilling and taking a "return of militia" to maintain a record of the inventory of men and weapons the state had at its disposal (Militia Act of 1792).

Other than that, there’s nothing to prevent the feds or states from placing limits on the classes of weapons that people may own, and restrict the classes of individuals who may own weapons. 200+ years of SCotUS and Appellate rulings have affirmed all this. And all within 2nd Amen interpretation.
 
 
+4 # Krulick 2012-12-23 09:08
The right to bear arms is merely the JUS MILITIAE, or the right of the Freemen (the enfranchised body politic) to be involved in the state’s (or nation’s) military function, as a citizen-soldier s (as opposed to a "regular" professional soldier in a standing army) "trained to arms" and "enrolled" into an organized, "well regulated" state militia. It’s not about "carrying arms" or "kinds or arms" but BEARING ARMS (to serve as a soldier).

There is NOTHING in the drafting and debating and passage of the 2nd Amen that speaks about "individual gun ownership" independent of militia service! It’s all about state versus federal control and arming of the militia, and the virtues of militias versus standing armies, since it’s a MILITIA amendment and NOT a GUN amendment!

Miller (1939) confirms this. The SCotUS in Miller said the 2nd Amen must be viewed thusly:
"With obvious purpose to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of such forces [the well regulated militia described in the previous paragraph] the declaration and guarantee of the Second Amendment were made. It must be interpreted and applied with that end in view."
 
 
0 # AMLLLLL 2012-12-22 17:40
Regarding paragraph 3, davidr, this also applies to vessels; if you choose to be federally documented rather than state registered, your boat, sailing vessel or power vessel, can be appropriated by the Federal Government in times of emergency. It's cheaper to do this, hence more popular.
 
 
+1 # Toribeth 2012-12-23 12:20
I would like to post your comments on facebook. Is that OK with you?
 
 
+1 # Krulick 2012-12-23 16:22
Who are you asking? If me, I have no objection. If you can, go to the original site at http://www.kryo.com/2ndAmen/ for the complete cites.
 
 
+34 # tadn54 2012-12-22 14:48
Can anyone explain someones' psychological underpinnings of a gun owner/users affinity towards it? Is it a feeling of invincibilty when they have a gun? Is it some macho thing, firing/owning a gun? Is it some inexplicable orgasmic feeling firing a gun? Again, it's beyond my comprehension.
If they truly believe the world out there is that dangerous, they're delusional.

I cannot even find the thrill in hunting; if they want a real manly sport, hunt and kill that lethal and dreaded deer or menacing duck with a bow and arrow (as some real hunters do).

If you wanna do something manly, take your kids to the park, hug them on the monkey bars, and tell them you'll always be there.
 
 
+3 # mdhome 2012-12-22 19:39
It is a sense of power to produce instant results, such as an ability to punch a series of holes in a can/target in a very small area or blow up/explode a can of soda/beer. The bottom line is the extreme satisfaction of have a large amount of power at your beck and call, similar to having a muscle car with 600 horsepower.
 
 
+2 # dovelane1 2012-12-25 06:11
md - I actually believe the real reason is the fear of being or appearing vulnerable.

For instance, people who go through martial arts training rarely act in aggressive ways, because they no longer feel vulnerable. They feel as if they are in control of themselves, and they feel no need to try to control others.

It's only those who feel vulnerable that want to control others, and guns offer an accessible and many times effective way of doing that.

Take away the vulnerability, or, at least, lessen the shame or negative stigma placed on it, and you take away the need for a gun.

If it was learned that only cowards need guns, perhaps that would eventually change everyone's opinion of guns and the people that use them.
 
 
+2 # bigkahuna671 2012-12-25 10:47
Perhaps that's why NASCAR is so popular in the South and the Midwest, which just happens to have the largest numbers of gun-owners. Notice I didn't say largest percentage, but largest numbers. What surprises me is the large number of these folks who have never seen combat. If they really knew what that M-16 or AR-15 was for, they might realize that they are really WMDs, not intended for anything but killing large numbers of humans as rapidly as possible! I agree with dovelane1 in that these folks really are afraid to look weak and so need to have guns to make them look tough so really tough people will leave them alone...perhaps like people with martial arts training. Hmmm, makes you wonder if they somehow feel impotent unless they have that big GUN, makes up for other, more important physical parts of their bodies.
 
 
+11 # readerz 2012-12-22 20:39
Well, although I am against guns, I do know a very nice man who makes rifles. These are very high quality works of craftsmanship with very accurate firing ability. It is a bit disturbing, but as with any complex mechanical machine, I have some admiration for those who are capable of producing them. He only uses these for target shooting (at half a mile away), but in his front yard deer graze. Friends of his have asked him why he doesn't shoot the deer in his yard, and he tells them that he wouldn't shoot his pets either; they live there. I know there are a number of enthusiasts who either only target shoot (of course, not with automatic weapons or handguns), or only hunt for food. Considering the cost of food these days, I can't quibble with them for that.

But there is no reason whatsoever for assault weapons.
 
 
0 # dfy 2012-12-25 03:24
Quoting tadn54:
Can anyone explain someones' psychological underpinnings of a gun owner/users affinity towards it? Is it a feeling of invincibilty when they have a gun? Is it some macho thing, firing/owning a gun? Is it some inexplicable orgasmic feeling firing a gun? Again, it's beyond my comprehension.
If they truly believe the world out there is that dangerous, they're delusional.

I cannot even find the thrill in hunting; if they want a real manly sport, hunt and kill that lethal and dreaded deer or menacing duck with a bow and arrow (as some real hunters do).

If you wanna do something manly, take your kids to the park, hug them on the monkey bars, and tell them you'll always be there.

The Kleck study concludes that there are 2.5 million defensive gun uses(DGU) per year, 400,000 of them thwarting an instance of attempted murder. A low end estimation of DGU's is 100,000 per year. Using Kleck's ratio of attempted murder thwaring, 16%, produces a figure of 16,000 DGU's per year or 44 per day. Child killing with guns is 1.7 per day. More homicides are committed with baseball bats than guns. Take the guns away to protect the children and more people will die. Guns are not the problem, criminals with guns are the problem. Criminals will not turn in their guns because criminals don't obey laws. Gun control will create a disarmed victim population.
 
 
+2 # Krulick 2012-12-25 09:36
The Kleck "study" is hardly worthy of the name. A few thousand adults, mostly in the south, were contacted, and given great latitude in deciding WHAT constituted a DGU in the past year. Kleck then just extrapolated the numbers into the ENTIRE US population, and said that amount of DGUs happened EACH and EVERY year! IF that many examples happened, it would be in the news many times each day. The entire results have been scoffed at by serious statisticians for years.

Nobody is a criminal until they become one; everybody is "law-abiding" until they cease to be. What, "criminals" never stop at red lights or keep off the grass? Most gun-related accidents or intentional injuries and deaths are NOT caused by "criminals"! Can you support the baseball bat claim?
 
 
+28 # grandone@charter.net 2012-12-22 14:50
I would like to pose a counterpoint to the author, with all due respect. If he has traveled throughout the nation's southern states, he know the flavor of the people's desire for guns against the government. The right has, as the author notes, done a wonderful job of using the sympathetic media to spread its propaganda. There is, however, a twist to the story. When you combine the fervor of the south's dream of rising again, the fear of an African-America n president and the availability of automatic weapons, then you may have an insight into what is driving this historical confusion. If "The south is going to rise again" is a rallying cry, and the gun manufacturers have corrupted congress with money, it only follows that those who still feel the sting of loss of the Civil War would want to be armed in preparation for yet another insurrection.
 
 
0 # robcarter.vn 2012-12-22 17:24
We are supposed to be better educated and civilized now, killing by a new covil war with Private piddly guns against droned? I think not. Now we leave the Union by referendums and sending resignation paper to the Union Bosses.
 
 
+9 # readerz 2012-12-22 20:32
While I agree that eventually an armed rebellion would be crushed, they could do a lot of damage first. Remember that a huge number of people on the ground is hard to overcome, even with sophisticated equipment. They key is: they would not be organized, even if they all yelled the "rebel yell" at the same time. There is no General Lee who would want to lead such a rebellion; they are all more likely to go into their survival bunkers, and they would lose.

My worry about the Tea Party is the random acts of violence, and also when they gain legislative power and then write laws like the "heartbeat" law in Ohio that could end up killing scores of women who have emergencies during pregnancy but who cannot have abortions even if they are dying of septicemia, as in the case in Ireland.
 
 
+26 # dipierro4 2012-12-22 14:59
..... passing the Militia Acts which required all military-age white males to obtain their own muskets and equipment for service in militias.....

Wow, a mandate to purchase something! Who would have thought....?
 
 
+11 # 666 2012-12-22 17:08
dipierro4 -- bonus points for THAT observation!!!! !
 
 
+1 # robcarter.vn 2012-12-22 17:28
Yep I have a sharl carving knofe will that do? Mititias no longer exist in Civilised Nations, spoecially the WASP ones you mention. And what do they consider military-aged? CCP PRC saw 10 year old "Red Gur=ards" and sent them to take over the Local Governments?
 
 
+8 # Krulick 2012-12-22 18:56
Yes, the 2nd Amendment and the Militia Act of 1792 were passed by the same guys, and they spelled out a DUTY as well as a RIGHT! Eventually, the Congress paid for and supplied militia arms (not just guns, but ALL the equipment of the militia), and eventually, in 1903, because the experiment was not working, created the National Guard AS the "organized militia," and let the requirements that nearly ALL adult males serve militia duty regularly lapse, pending the option to call the "unorganized militia" up, should need arise.
 
 
+3 # mdhome 2012-12-22 19:41
Ha ha, very good pick up, dipierro4
 
 
-3 # Martintfre 2012-12-22 15:10
The Constitution was written with the intent that government was made by and for the people to protect their inherent rights -- not protect the priviliges of politicians who are in control of government.
 
 
-10 # Pickwicky 2012-12-22 15:37
Dipierro4--not a fit subject for jokes.

Martintfre--you missed the point.
 
 
-27 # Martintfre 2012-12-22 16:06
Quoting Pickwicky:
Dipierro4--not a fit subject for jokes.

Martintfre--you missed the point.


Article I The Inherent Rights of man,



Section 21.
Right to Bear Arms

The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.
http://www.pahouse.com/pa_const.htm

Actually I get the point, apparently you and the author do not.
 
 
+19 # Krulick 2012-12-22 18:28
Sorry, but your cited section is a MORE RECENT version of what the founders of the state of Pennsylvania originally wrote (most of these versions were pushed on legislatures by the NRA):

"That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the state; and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; And that the military should be kept under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

Other state constitutions proceeded to adopt variations of either the Virginia or Pennsylvania models. The states which included "right to bear arms" language did so in the context of provisions dealing with military matters.

[Let me repeat THAT: "did so in the context of provisions dealing with military matters"]

...Thus, there is no indication from the history of the 2nd Amendment that the Founders were seeking a broad guarantee of the individual right to own firearms for any purpose. On the contrary, the expressed intention of the framers was to guarantee that state militias remained armed and viable, and the "right to keep and bear arms" must be understood as implementing that purpose. The implication of this intention is that the constitutionali ty of a statute regulating firearms should turn on whether the statute affects firearms in such a way as to adversely affect a state's ability to raise and maintain an armed "well-regulated militia.
 
 
0 # David Starr 2012-12-26 16:27
@Krulick: Valid response. I was wondering if the claim was legit or a misinterpretati on.
 
 
+2 # barryg 2012-12-22 17:36
True Martin, but the armory controlled by the owners of the politicians are way beyond the ability of a citizen army to overcome. Even though the Iraqi's and Afganhi's defeated us they did so at a large distance from our supply source and against relatively small forces.
 
 
+2 # David Starr 2012-12-23 12:20
@Martintfre: But with a republic, at least of their kind, wouldn't it be quite the opposite? Over the years, do you think that a form of democracy more so improved peoples' lives as proved by the adding of 17 more admendments for positive change? If not, why would they be added? You seem to have a literalist view of the U.S. Constitution. That's no better than taking the Bible literally.
 
 
+12 # Pickwicky 2012-12-22 15:34
Let us hope SCOTUS will accept the first case that demands a hard look at the 2nd amendment. It is long past due. We can keep trying to pass laws in Congress, but the source of our gun troubles lies in the false interpretation of the 2nd amendment--and it must be corrected. As usual, a great part of the problem boils down to education; that is, teaching the public, especially the Right, the true interpretation. That being said--and earnestly meant--who wants to bet on the Right accepting the correct interpretation of the 2nd amendment?
 
 
-31 # Martintfre 2012-12-22 15:57
And what is that "the problem boils down to education; that is, teaching the public, especially the Right, the true interpretation."

What interpetation is that you want to force everyone to believe?
 
 
+24 # Pickwicky 2012-12-22 16:52
Martin--the meaning and intention of the men who wrote the 2nd amendment. Those 'well-regulated militias' were meant to protect the US government against internal uprisings and foreign threats. Yes--to protect our elected officials and our territories--an d I suspect you think the 2nd was to overthrow US government if you didn't like it, right? Might help if you read some good history books.
 
 
+9 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-12-22 21:55
May I suggest "A People's History of the US"?
 
 
+2 # David Starr 2012-12-23 12:23
@Granny Weatherwax: Yeah, that's as good as any source. But the literalists may think the constitution is set in stone; thus, the outdated thinking.
 
 
+15 # Brooklyn Girl 2012-12-22 15:58
Sadly, that won't happen with the current make-up of the court.
 
 
+8 # unitedwestand 2012-12-23 00:51
The more reason for us to clamor as loudly and as long as we can to try to fix the interpretation of the 2nd amendment.

We should make sure that none of our officials forget those beautiful children and wonderful teachers that died for the greed and lies of the NRA and the profits of gun manufacturers.
 
 
+21 # Ellioth 2012-12-22 15:41
Tell a lie enough times and it becomes a "truth". This is how the far right has gotten as far as they have - telling the same lies, over and over and over again, and those who know the truth don't bother to tell the truth, over and over and over again. The liars will just keep coming at us and there are enough ignorant people lazy enough to just listen and then believe with no critical thinking facilities.
Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck are all part of the same lying machine and after a while too many people believe these morons, and then take on the look and feel of morons themselves - ergo, those who believe and support the Tea Party.
 
 
+5 # mdhome 2012-12-22 19:55
That is the essence of where we are now, mostly by the lies repeated endlessly for the last 40 years, now how the hell do we get out of this mess?
 
 
+4 # readerz 2012-12-22 20:21
I agree with you on both counts: the liars tell the lies over and over.

But what about those who know the truth? Where are the universities? Where are the historians? Why don't we hear more from them?

I have a partial answer: Although Harvard seems to send more people to its business school to learn derivatives these days, in many smaller schools, history is no longer a distribution requirement for an undergraduate degree.

Further, as we all know, professors that are "assistants" are all paid part-time, per class, so that a friend of mine who taught in a local state college lost his job teaching American history, but that job hadn't added much to his income in the first place. We live near Kent State University, so we are aware that some people in this area have knowledge of living history of America.

Then there is the Texas problem: the conservative committee that decides American history textbooks for Texas, and then the publishers only print those books for the whole country: edited and expunged before anybody with any knowledge has any say.

But let's get back to those IV league schools (yes, the 4th league, 'nuther story): why haven't they said much publicly? It's part of the HUGE question, and goes beyond the connection of Goldman Sachs and Harvard. Why would the rich righties want to destabilize this country? Why would "skull and bones" Yale, the seat of Nathan Hale, want to pull the rug out from under themselves?
 
 
-33 # Martintfre 2012-12-22 15:52
//In this right-wing fantasy, the Framers wanted everyone to have a gun so they could violently resist their own government. To that end, a few incendiary quotes are cherry-picked or taken out of context.//

Almost correct .. change that to framers wanted everyone to be able to resist a violent government.
 
 
+18 # Krulick 2012-12-22 18:31
John Adams disagrees with you:

It must be made a sacred maxim, that the militia obey the executive power, which represents the whole people in the execution of laws. To suppose arms in the hands of the citizens, to be used at individual discretion, except in private self defense, or by partial orders of towns, counties, or districts of a state, is to demolish every constitution, and lay the laws prostrate, so that liberty can be enjoyed by no man - is a dissolution of the government. The fundamental law of the militia is, that it be created, directed, and commanded by the laws, and ever for the support of the laws." -- John Adams, A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, p. 474-5 (1787-88)
 
 
+9 # Dumbledorf 2012-12-22 15:54
THINK ON THESE THINGS:

"Understand that all battles are waged on an unconscious level before they are begun on the conscious one, and this battle is no different. The power structure wishes us to believe that the only options available are those which they present to us, we know this is simply not true." - Teresa Stover

"Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we're being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I'm liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That's what's insane about it." - John Lennon
 
 
+2 # Pickwicky 2012-12-22 17:00
Dumbledorf--now really, pal, what does it mean to say "all battles are waged on an unconscious level before they are begun on the conscious one . . ." ? And the John Lennon quote--same question. You have provided us with those types of statements that attach meaning and wonderment to nonsense.
 
 
-1 # dovelane1 2012-12-25 06:24
Dumble - Ironically, if you've read much about the life of John Lennon, he was quite the neurotic. He ended up being involved in Primal Scream therapy, but quit before it was finished because he thought he could do it better with himself and Yoko Ono. They were quite the pair of addicts.

I'm not sure he is the reputable authority you should be quoting.
 
 
+23 # Brooklyn Girl 2012-12-22 15:57
The framers chose their words very carefully. If they didn't MEAN the amendment to refer to the formation of a militia, they wouldn't have said so. And they used the word "people", not "persons." The entire amendment clearly refers to the PROTECTION of the state (i.e., the government), not insurrection against it.
 
 
-14 # Junius 2012-12-22 17:21
Quoting Brooklyn Girl:
The framers chose their words very carefully. If they didn't MEAN the amendment to refer to the formation of a militia, they wouldn't have said so. And they used the word "people", not "persons." The entire amendment clearly refers to the PROTECTION of the state (i.e., the government), not insurrection against it.

"Regulation" from 1770 on meant "violent resistance to achieve reform." The Shays Rebels were known as Reglators.
 
 
+14 # Krulick 2012-12-22 18:39
Nonsense!

As Alexander Hamilton put it, in Federalist 29:

"If a well-regulated militia be the most natural defense of a free country, it ought certainly to be under the regulation and at the disposal of that body which is constituted the guardian of the national security."

And what body, "which is constituted the guardian of the national security" was Hamilton referring to, that the well-regulated militia "be under the regulation and at the disposal" of? Wouldn’t happen to be... CONGRESS, would it? As in... THE GOVERNMENT???!!!

As in... "a government-cont rolled militia" subject to government regulation!!!

"Well regulated" in the Second Amendment refers to the combination of state and federal regulations, as authority over the militia under the Constitution was divided between the two by the Militia Clauses. Most of the founders emphasized federal regulations, since that was what was at issue during the ratification debates.

Sometimes the Founding Fathers used the term "regulate" to refer to state militia laws. For instance, Patrick Henry and James Madison, members of the Virginia House of Delegates in 1784, were appointed to a committee to prepare a bill "to amend the several acts of Assembly, for regulating and disciplining the militia, and for providing against invasions and insurrections."
 
 
-13 # fliteshare 2012-12-22 19:55
They would call it Army not militia.
 
 
+6 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-12-22 22:01
They didn't want to pay for a permanent ("standing") army, hence their preference for a militia.
 
 
+10 # Krulick 2012-12-22 18:35
Actually, they used the legal term of art "THE People" not just "people" or "persons"!

THE PEOPLE is a legal term of art that has a specific meaning in law and language:

Bouvier Law Dictionary:

PEOPLE...

A state; as, the people of the state of New York; a nation in its collective and political capacity. 4 T. R. 783. See 6 Pet. S. C. Rep. 467.

STATE...

This word is used in various senses. In its most enlarged sense, it signifies a self-sufficient body of persons united together in one community for the defence of their rights, and to do right and justice to foreigners. In this sense, the state means the whole people united into one body politic; (q.v.) and the state, and the people of the state, are equivalent expressions.

BODY POLITIC...

When applied to the government this phrase signifies the state. As to the persons who compose the body politic, they take collectively the name, of people, or nation; and individually they are citizens, when considered in relation to their political rights, and subjects as being submitted to the laws of the state.

("The Bouvier Law Dictionary remains the basis for the interpretation of Law since the founding of the American nation. In questions of law regarding legal definitions from that period it remains the final arbiter of any disputed interpretation of that law." http://uslawbooks.com/ajs/bouvier2001.pdf)
 
 
+9 # Krulick 2012-12-22 18:36
"§ 208. In like manner the word "state" is used in various senses. In its most enlarged sense it means the people composing a particular nation or community. In this sense the state means the whole people, united into one body politic; and the state, and the people of the state, are equivalent expressions. Mr. Justice Wilson, in his Law Lectures, uses the word "state" in its broadest sense. "In free states," says he, "the people form an artificial person, or body politic, the highest end [and] noblest, that can be known. They form that moral person, which in one of my former lectures, I described, as a complete body of free, natural persons, united together for their common benefit; as having an understanding and a will; as deliberating, and resolving, and acting; as possessed of interests, which it ought to manage; as enjoying rights, which it ought to maintain; and as lying under obligations, which it ought to perform. To this moral person, we assign, by way of eminence, the dignified appellation of STATE." -- Joseph Story, "Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States," 1833.
 
 
-12 # fliteshare 2012-12-22 20:05
The entire constitution is a peace treaty issued by "WE THE PEOPLE" not by "GOVERNMENT". Its purpose was therefore to protect "the people" not government.
 
 
+8 # Krulick 2012-12-22 23:09
The Constitution is the organic law and framework of a federal republic; it is NOT a "treaty" in which "sovereign individuals" can join or unjoin, pick or choose. Sure, it is OF, BY, and FOR "the PEOPLE," but only if you understand that term to mean "the collective enfranchised body politic" comprised, in 1791, of free, white, property-owning , adult men, but NOT as individual Freemen, but ONLY as the "artificial person" as Wilson stated, UNITED as the "body politic." They are THE People, or THE State, but NOT the "government" per se, though they COMPRISE the government. THE People of the "We the People" were the body politic of the WHOLE US, NOT the legislatures of EACH state, which had been the authority behind the Articles of Confederation. The US Constitution was, in effect, an "end run" around the AoC and the States, going DIRECTLY to conventions IN the states that did not depend ON the existing legislatures. Yes, it therefore is a document of THE People, but it establishes a government that draws its authority FROM the consent of the governed, the PEOPLE as a whole "State" but NOT to be confused with either the geographical "states" or the legislatures OF each state, i.e., the state governments. That is why the 10th amendment distinguishes between the States AND the People!
 
 
+1 # Pickwicky 2012-12-23 14:25
fliteshare--in the Framer's minds and in their written intentions the USA's government is equivalent to the people--the people are the government. Do you think we live in a monarchy, in a dictatorship? Have you missed the whole point of our Constitution?
 
 
+3 # Krulick 2012-12-23 22:06
The distinction is actually more subtle, as I indicated above... in a constitutional democratic republic, the government is OF, BY, and FOR the People (being the collective enfranchised body politic, comprised of the Freeman Class, taken as a singular entity), a SERVANT of the People, but not identical to it. As noted, "THE STATE" has several definitions, ONE of which is equivalent to "THE PEOPLE," such as when "The People vs. John Doe" is equal to "The State vs. John Doe." These distinctions are important, such as when "The States" of 10th Amendment mean the state legislatures (state governments) as distinct from "The People" being the aforementioned collective enfranchised body politic of the entire USA.
 
 
+36 # AUCHMANNOCH 2012-12-22 16:11
Like many boys my age living in English speaking countries I was brought up (every Saturday morning matinee for a charge of sixpence) on a diet of Hollywood cowboys and Indian violence. In the afternoons we would go into the fields and woods and have games of cowboys and Indians with toy guns and bows and arrows and we would have great fun.
As it is written somewhere:"When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

I'm sure many gun owners are responsible people who have fun with guns and would agree that nobody needs semi or automatic weapons with armour piercing bullets to have fun. Then there are the gun owners who never grew up!

In Australia we got rid of public ownership of automatic weapons and you can do it too. As for arming everybody in the U.S.A so that a good guy can 'take out' an insane guy attempting to kill everybody in sight well let me mention three places that didn't work.

Columbine- they had an armed guard.

Virginia Tech - had their own police department.

Fort Hood - was a MILITARY BASE!

As for arming yourself against your own government, well it seems to me that a lot of countries have freed themselves from dictatorships starting from ZERO gun ownership. The latest examples being the countries of the 'Arab Spring.'Grow up America!!
 
 
+11 # ganymede 2012-12-22 17:30
What is it going to take to unbrainwash these people, and where does this false ideology come from. It defies all common sense that the 2nd Amendment can be construed in a way that allows these highspeed automatic guns to be sold to virtually anyone who wants one. Just one of these guns would have been enough to dominate the entire world in the late 18th century. If we don't ban all these assault weapons we will as a society deserve to be called 'those murderous idiots', by the rest of the world.
 
 
-14 # Depressionborn 2012-12-22 18:44
our guns keep us free. The federalist 46 explains it some, and refers to militia:
Despots always disarm must the populace.

In Federalist No. 46, Madison calculates (quite accurately, BTW) that the new government could support a standing army of no more than 25,000 men, and

To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. 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, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.
 
 
+13 # Krulick 2012-12-22 20:31
This 1788 essay was in context of whether to have a standing army or militia system, and to reassure those with anti-Federalist sentiments that the proposed Constitution would not lead to "the downfall of the State governments," their biggest concern! Properly read, in greater context, #46 clearly shows that Madison did not believe in any plausible likelihood of the militias being used to 'defend the people from our own government.' That he even mentions it at all is to debunk it as a "visionary supposition" without merit; it's all conditional and for argument's sake.

Read it IN FULL, and you see he is condescending to anyone who believes that THE PEOPLE would ever let things get to such a sorry state.

"The only refuge left to those who prophesy the downfall of the State governments is the visionary supposition that the federal government may previously accumulate a military force for the projects of ambition. The reasonings contained in these papers must have been employed to little purpose indeed, if it could be necessary now to disprove the reality of this danger... (For the rest of the CONTEXT that makes it clear what Madison was saying, go to http://kryo.com/2ndAmen/Quotes.htm and go to the Madison cites)
 
 
+8 # Krulick 2012-12-22 20:32
First, this essay was about the establishment of the militia during the Constitution ratification era; there's nothing about the 2nd Amen or individual rights. Second, Madison was talking about the fact that the STATES appointed the officers of the militia, so the officers were loyal to the STATE AND THE MILITIA. It's NOT an "armed populace" of unorganized, unauthorized individual sovereigns acting "at individual discretion" (John Adams) standing up to the feds, but the OFFICIAL, WELL REGULATED STATE MILITIAS ONLY!: "... it would not be going too far to say the State governments with the people on their side would be able to repel the danger."

It is because the people were loyal to STATE-LED militias -- "subordinate governments, [states] to which the people are attached and by which the militia officers are appointed" -- there would be less chance for mischief ever occurring. Which is why he said it would never get to that point: "Let us rather no longer insult them with the supposition that they can ever reduce themselves to the necessity of making the experiment by a blind and tame submission to the long train of insidious measures which must precede and produce it."
 
 
+10 # Krulick 2012-12-22 20:33
That is, it IS the existence OF state militias, and democratically- formed state governments that selected officers from the militia's own, ALL of these having the "attachment" of the PEOPLE, that would assuredly bring down tyranny, NOT just 'possession of guns' or even having citizens serving in the national army, but THE PEOPLE being democratically involved in the whole military process. BALLOTS not BULLETS!

And read the phrase again understanding what Madison meant by THE PEOPLE and by ARMS: "the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." IT does NOT say "afraid to trust individual persons with guns"! (Surely, any number of European hunters and yeomen had guns, though expensive for most). It is NOT just POSSESSION that matters, but popular democratic participation IN the military function!

WHAT Madison said was "trust the PEOPLE with ARMS." Given the context surrounding this line, and Madison's consistent usage, what he was referring to was the NON-REPUBLICAN governments of Europe (the several kingdoms), did not involve THE PEOPLE AT LARGE, THE WHOLE PEOPLE as the populus armatus, in the jus militiae participation in the state's military function, WHICH THE STATE MILITIAS IN AMERICA DID, directly and through the state legislatures!
 
 
+12 # Krulick 2012-12-22 20:34
Search as you will, you will find nothing in Madison's statements personally supporting any claims of a "well armed populace as check against the ambition of a Federal Government and its standing army." In fact, he clearly supports the opposite. To suppose there is some OTHER militia Madison is referring to than the one the government has power "to call forth... when the laws are resisted," which the "well armed populace" fantasy props up as a check to government, is to misread Madison in particular, and the founding fathers in general. It is also why I have decreasing patience with people who drag out shreds of out-of-context quotes to make claims that are OPPOSITE to the general purpose and intent one may more reasonably infer from a more complete reading of the in-context material.
 
 
-11 # Depressionborn 2012-12-23 04:22
Founders did not trust government. They trusted the people maybe. I think they were right, trusting government never works for long, the people, I am not so sure of. (Look at the mess we are in)
 
 
+4 # Krulick 2012-12-23 09:19
Ridiculous! They WERE the government! Most were well-educated lawyers. They ranged from near-monarchist s like Hamilton and John Adams who did NOT trust "the mob" and so were for a representative republic more than a pure democracy, to populists like Jefferson, Mason, Henry, and Gerry who were concerned for too much power being in a centralized government, but had NO problem with STATE governments being predominant. They all compromised in the end, by ensuring a system of checks and balances, with power shared between states and a somewhat limited federal apparatus. Remember, in 1791 "the People," being the collective enfranchised body politic, was comprised of ONLY free, white, adult males, usually property-holder s, thus being way less than HALF the total population. It was this same CLASS of persons, Freemen, who made up the MILITIA as well as being the People who elected Congress, as per the Constitution.
 
 
-4 # Depressionborn 2012-12-23 15:31
Founders were not the government. They founded a government by the people. (Whoever has the guns governs.) That is why despots must disarm citizens.

We the people of the USA are intended to be self-governing. Otherwise you will be governed by tyrany. This was in the history books 70 years ago. It is gone now. I wonder why. (A standing army was anathama to the Fonders.)
 
 
+2 # Krulick 2012-12-23 22:14
Well, as I pointed out, they were not IDENTICAL to the Government, but the founding government WAS made up OF who we call the Founding Fathers. When you looked at the original government, well, THAT is who were the Founders, by definition. The "guns" were in the hands of the militia, and, as several pointed out, THEY, themselves WERE the militia, in that the SAME Class that made up the militia were also the People Class, being the free, white, property-owning adult males. The People was NEVER "everyone" and still isn't; we've added blacks, women, and lowered the age from 21 to 18, but the term "Freeman" is still the operative one in official documents (Citizen then was also limited to the People/Freeman Class, though now includes minors, which it didn't in the 18th century, nor women.) SOME founders, like Washington, were OK with a professional standing army, based on HIS experience, but he would have settled for a select militia, which was Hamilton's compromise, and had to accept the universal militia Madison and the first Congress enacted in 1792. And "disarm" only meant "failure to provide arms for" the state militia, according to Mason, Henry, and other Anti-Federalist s, NOT confiscation, as today is interpreted wrongly.
 
 
+1 # Krulick 2012-12-23 22:17
But your original point is still wrong; the Founders WERE the Federalists who WON the first election, for President and for Congress, and THEY CREATED the framework for the new federal government. Sure, they had concerns about control and power and how it would be shared and how to prevent abuses, but they DID trust the NEED for a just government, one that had the consent of the governed and was accountable to THE PEOPLE, the ultimate source of the rights and powers.
 
 
+9 # Rick Levy 2012-12-22 18:38
Never underestimate the extremes to which the gun nuts will resort, such possessing military grade assault weapons, in order to compensate for their feelings of personal inadequacy. In turn their sentiments and support have transformed the NRA into a terrorist organization.
 
 
-15 # cordleycoit 2012-12-22 19:55
Columbine had a problem with the cops running in circles because the overhead were craven cowards. The military don't carry weapons on base unless one is a M.P. I love to hear people rewriting history to fit modern ideologies. As I persist in saying ware not like the Irish or the Palestinian s who are slaughtered by cruel masters. we are Citizens not subjects.Gun ownership is a right not a privilege.
 
 
+8 # Krulick 2012-12-22 21:17
Self-defense per se could be considered a "right" by most societies; security of THE PEOPLE (the collective enfranchised body politic) is also considered a right, indeed the very REASON for having a government OF the PEOPLE, as John Adams wrote:


CONSTITUTION OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS (1780)

PREAMBLE.

"The end of the institution, maintenance, and administration of government, is to secure the existence of the body politic, to protect it, and to furnish the individuals who compose it with the power of enjoying in safety and tranquillity their natural rights, and the blessings of life: and whenever these great objects are not obtained, the people have a right to alter the government, and to take measures necessary for their safety, prosperity and happiness.

The body politic is formed by a voluntary association of individuals: it is a social compact, by which the whole people covenants with each citizen, and each citizen with the whole people, that all shall be governed by certain laws for the common good. It is the duty of the people, therefore, in framing a constitution of government, to provide for an equitable mode of making laws, as well as for an impartial interpretation, and a faithful execution of them; that every man may, at all times, find his security in them."

But "owning guns" or any particular weapon has NEVER been considered an absolute "right" and you won't find ANY written evidence from the founders claiming so. It IS a privilege!
 
 
+3 # dovelane1 2012-12-25 06:38
Krulick - I come to this site to learn things, and your posts, just by themselves, have been an education. Much appreciated.

If the people that argue your points didn't do so, I probably would not have learned as much as I have. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem as if any of them learned much of anything at all.

Their attitude appears to be "I've got my mind made up - don't try to confuse me with any facts."
 
 
+1 # Krulick 2012-12-25 09:42
Alas, I've been dealing with such stubbornness for years. It's hard to make a complete argument in forums like these, which is why I posted extended essays on the main themes at one site, so anyone who really cares about the truth involved can spend as much time as needed to see how it all hangs together. If you want more details, go to http://kryo.com/2ndAmen/
 
 
+3 # BeaDeeBunker 2012-12-22 23:20
Have you been reading the comments so far? You don't get it, do you!?
What is your definition of a right vs. a privilege? If you consider yourself a citizen then you have agreed to abide by the laws of the land that actualize your citizenship. You have rights, and along with those rights come responsibilitie s. Reread all the comments again and learn that what you consider your 'right' to own a gun brings with it the 'right,' by law, of your government to conscript you into a 'well regulated militia' to put down insurrections and foreign invasion.

I suppose your kind of thinking, and writing your own version of history allows you the 'right' to NOT pay your Federal taxes, but denies the government the right to put you in prison.
What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Are you the goose or the gander?
 
 
+7 # readerz 2012-12-22 20:07
I have a question for all of us to think about, and that is making me uneasy.

We know that the Tea Party instantly had expensive R.V.s and all kinds of equipment, and were in fact being supported by billionaires. Then, to quote the above article, "The key Framers, after all, were mostly men of means with a huge stake in an orderly society, the likes of George Washington and James Madison." Why are the billionaires of today, unlike Washington and Madison, so interested in a disordered society and the overthrow of our government? I know these billionaires of today are mostly invested in foreign corporations, but they have supported radio talk, TV news to be now only conservative, totally biased Fox TV (pretending it has more viewers when it is on a free service), and all... for what??? If they are trying to destabilize our society, they are succeeding. With missiles minutes away from any part of the earth, I can't imagine of what value these billionaires place in turning this country into a lunatic asylum. Notice that George Washington compared the rebellions to "bedlam." "I should have thought him a bedlamite - a fit subject for a mad house."

There are times when I think the laws of this land need drastic changes, but there are avenues to make changes that are legal. Assault weapons serve no purpose but to harm and demoralize us all. Therefore I wonder why those who have power and money would want the wrong interpretation of the 2nd Amendment to be promoted.
 
 
-21 # moafu@yahoo.com 2012-12-22 20:17
Doctors vs. Gun Owners

Doctors
(A) The number of physicians in the U.S. is 700,000.

(B) Accidental deaths caused by Physicians per year are 120,000.

(C) Accidental deaths per physician is 0.171.

Statistics courtesy of U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services.

Now think about this:

Guns

(A) The number of gun owners in the US is 80,000,000.

(Yes, that's 80 million)

(B) The number of accidental gun deaths per year, all age groups is 1,500.

(C) The number of accidental deaths per gun owners is 0.000188.

Statistics courtesy of FBI

So, statistically, doctors are approximately 9,000 times
more dangerous than gun owners.


FACT: NOT EVERYONE HAS A GUN, BUT Almost everyone has at least one doctor.
This means you are over 900 times more likely to be killed by a doctor as a gun owner!!!

Please alert your friends to this alarming threat.
We must ban doctors before this gets completely out of hand!!!!!
 
 
+9 # Billy Bob 2012-12-22 21:03
All you're proving is that most of the deaths caused by gun murderers are NOT accidental.
 
 
+12 # Krulick 2012-12-22 21:23
Why did you just list "accidental" gun deaths? How about INTENTIONAL ones? The total number of US gun-related deaths is more than 30,000 per year. Kinda screws up your ratio a bit, huh? Oh, and then compare those with INTENTIONAL deaths from doctors, and you'll see how absurd your analogy is.

BTW, I think that medically-relat ed deaths (from doctors, hospitals, drugs -- including mostly legal drugs misused or wrongly administered) IS a big problem that gets ignored, as are the huge number of car-related deaths, or environmental-r elated deaths (air or water pollution), but it's not either/or. A sane society would be working much harder to minimize ALL such deaths and not minimize the seriousness of one cause by pointing to another.
 
 
+5 # readerz 2012-12-22 21:40
Your statistics are totally wrong.

Physicians do make mistakes, but usually these are mistakes made on already very sick or elderly individuals, very rarely people who are young and healthy.

If guns kill 30,000 people in America every year, including 3000 children, that is a lot more gun deaths than 1500.

Multiply the 30,000 deaths per year by the years of an average human life; let's put that at maybe 70 years. For every year of life, a person is in danger. During those 70 possible years of life, there are about 45,000,000 deaths by guns. Or, let's just include the statistics for children, and let's say that they might have lived 70 years if they hadn't been killed by a gun. That would be 4,500,000 children killed in 70 years. That is a much worse percentage chance of being killed by a gun than being killed by a doctor.
 
 
+7 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-12-22 22:15
This is silly.

Another sophism for you: everyone dies one day.
Everyone was delivered by a midwife or a gynecologist, therefore eradicate them, prohibit sex and nobody will be condemned to die.

More seriously, just in case yours was a real question/sugges tion: How many people are saved every year by doctors?
By guns?
 
 
+5 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-12-22 22:17
Oh, and you forgot the non-accidental deaths by guns.
 
 
+6 # BeaDeeBunker 2012-12-22 23:53
You are not a good mathematician, and your logic is faulty; bordering on illogical.
Statistics are funny little things, and in the hands of a disingenuous person can prove anything.
Cherry picking facts should be left to fruit gathers.

If there are indeed 80,000,000 gun owners, and 300,000,000 guns out there, then on average each gun owner owns 3.75
guns. Why does a gun owner need to have 3.75 guns? Does the FBI have the answer to that statistical fact?

I notice that you use FBI 'numbers' where convenient. 1500 accidental gun deaths sounds so low, I wonder why you didn't quote a source. Could it be you heard it from the NRA?

It is estimated that there were 25,000 gun deaths last year. Let's assume that all the deaths were by criminals against innocents. And let's further assume that all the 'criminals' were apprehended and tried. I would guess that court records would reveal that 50% of those charged claimed it was 'an accident.' That would mess up your statistics quite a bit.

Bottom line...numbers lie, or can be made to prove anything.
Without all the numbers, what's your point?

Next time we can work on the problem of how many angels can fit on the head of a pin!
 
 
0 # irvingwood 2012-12-23 11:29
Now I know what an ass sounds like! moafu@yahoo.com should be encouraged not to think, as it obviously causes him pain.
 
 
0 # Pickwicky 2012-12-23 14:30
Moafu--non-anal ogous.
 
 
+4 # readerz 2012-12-22 20:47
P.S.: A picture is worth a thousand words sometimes. Who painted the picture of George Washington as Commander-in-ch ief leading the militias against the Whiskey Rebellion? A painter's name and date of the painting as well as the museum or public building where it is displayed would be helpful. Not only is it a beautiful painting, but it proves the point that the "militias" are used to crush rebellions, not crush government.
 
 
+2 # fhunter 2012-12-22 20:58
The Militia Act REQUIRED to buy ones own MUSKETS. 4 Supreme Idiots, with infallibility in the interpretation of the framers ideas, would have voted against it. Take lessons from Mister dipierr04.
 
 
+3 # BeaDeeBunker 2012-12-23 00:21
It gets better. It's quite a MANDATE!

The Militia Act of 1792, Passed May 8, 1792, providing federal standards for the
organization of the Militia.

An ACT more effectually to provide for the National Defense, by establishing an Uniform Militia throughout the United States.

I. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia, by the Captain or Commanding
Officer of the company, within whose bounds such citizen shall reside, and that within twelve months after the passing of this Act. And it shall at all time hereafter be the duty of every such Captain or Commanding Officer of a company, to enroll every such citizen as aforesaid, and also those who shall, from time to time, arrive at the age of 18 years, or being at the age of 18 years, and under the age of 45 years (except as before excepted) shall come to reside within his bounds; and shall without delay notify such citizen of the said enrollment, by the proper non-commissione d Officer of the company, by whom such notice may be proved.

(cont.)
 
 
+2 # BeaDeeBunker 2012-12-23 00:22
(cont.)
That every citizen, so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch, with a box therein, to contain not less than twenty four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball; or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch, and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder; and shall appear so armed, accoutred and provided, when called out to exercise or into service, except, that when called out on company days to exercise only, he may appear without a knapsack. That the commissioned Officers shall severally be
armed with a sword or hanger, and esontoon; and that from and after five years from the passing of this Act, all muskets from arming the militia as is herein required, shall be of bores sufficient for balls of the eighteenth part of a pound; and every citizen so enrolled, and providing himself with the arms, ammunition and accoutrements, required as aforesaid, shall hold the same exempted from all suits, distresses, executions or sales, for debt or for the payment of taxes.
 
 
0 # readerz 2012-12-23 09:04
I'm sorry, but I can only afford bows, arrows, and throwing knives. I have these for targets; it's lots of fun storming the castle, but I would never want to use anything of that sort against a person.
 
 
+3 # CowboyABQ 2012-12-22 21:59
Madison's first draft of the Second Amendment read: “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.”

IA careful reading of this version reveals a bit more about the author's intent. The need for militias was to secure a free country. It is vague as to whether the threat to freedom is from foreign or domestic enemies. It is clear that the right to bear arms is unimpeded by a religious conviction that may preclude military service.

There are dozens of such complexities in any serious attempt to infer original intent of the framers.

For those who think it preposterous that we could ever have to forcefully defend our freedoms from rogue government, I would remind you that, after 9/11, the Patriot Act gave the President the authority to indefinitely detain any US citizen deemed to be a suspect terrorist, without judicial review.

It is also worth considering that Switzerland has very nearly half the gun ownership per capita as the United states but about one-sixth the rate of gun homicide. There are plenty of guns in Switzerland but, evidently, three times lower propensity to reach for that available gun when facing any of life's challenges. We have a gun crime problem, and we need to look at why our population is so distinctively prone to violence.
 
 
+3 # readerz 2012-12-23 09:02
NRA talking points, but what will your guns, even automatic weapons, do against grenade launchers, tanks, drones, etc.? Nothing. It is preposterous that a violent protest would lead to anything.

As we head towards January, let's remember the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who proved that even in this violent country, nonviolence is the key to change.
 
 
+7 # hkatzman 2012-12-22 22:12
"A well-regulated Militia, ...

Well-regulated clearly means that not only are gun-regulations constitutional, but that the Constitution specifically calls for these regulations to maintain "a well-regulated Militia."

"... being necessary to the security of a free State, ...

The security of a free State is exactly what we don't have in the present situation. The shooting of government officials, the shooting of movie patrons, the shooting of 6-year old children in school does not make for "the security of a free State."

"... the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Unlike the propaganda of the NRA, this is not the right to own guns without control, this is obviously the right to own weapons to maintain a "well regulated militia" to maintain "the security of a free State." This is not the right of the Michigan Militia (not connected with the state of Michigan) to own weapons, because they are not "well-regulated ." This also makes it a communal right and responsibility and not the individual right without responsibility that the NRA claims it is.
 
 
+4 # AUCHMANNOCH 2012-12-22 22:38
Ha Ha moafu I like a light hearted jest as much as anyone but seriously though, 8583 murders by gun in the U.S.A. in 2011 isn't so funny. They weren't accidents. Have you any stats on how many doctors went out to intentionally kill anybody?
 
 
+1 # kasibafe 2012-12-23 07:36
I bet the Founding Fathers were also thinking about all the wild Native Americans on the frontier. The frontiersmen needed guns to kill Indians. They almost wiped out all the Indians a long time ago so guns aren't a necessity anymore. Frontiersmen also did a lot of hunting for food. We don't do that anymore. We go to supermarkets so we don't need guns. I'm 73 years old, and I can't recall one friend who had to use a gun to protect himself in California. The police generally do a pretty good job of protecting citizens. BB guns would probably do a pretty good job in a clench. When I was a kid, we used to shoot each other with BBs. They hurt and kept us running for cover. I bet thieves would run, too, if you pointed a BB gun at them in the dark.
 
 
+2 # sj-ias 2012-12-23 07:37
Doesn't look like many of the commenters have read The Federalist. Only one refers to Hamilton. Hamilton wrote seven essays, 23 through 29, that bear on the question of why the new national government must have the power to raise a standing army. It was a very hot subject in the ratification debate.
All states (there were 11 in early 1789, NC and RI had not yet ratified) were invited to send proposals to Madison's committee. Our local library once had a book on the Bill of Rights that quoted the proposals different states sent in. My memory is that only one state focused specifically on individual right to bear arms, for the purpose of hunting etc. That was Pennsylvania, where hunting is still a state religion.
All the other states that submitted recommendations on the right to bear arms did so in the context of preferring state militias to a standing army. There are several clauses in the Constitution on the military powers of the new government and on the question of how much authority over the state militias the new government will have. The Second Amendment should be read as the last of that series.
In its day, as Hamilton's essays and the legislative recommendations both demonstrate, the point of the Second Amendment was to defer the creation of a standing army for as long as possible. Except in Pennsylvania... . :-)
 
 
+2 # readerz 2012-12-23 08:58
People still hunt for food in the Appalachians, but other than that, there is no point to guns.
 
 
+3 # Krulick 2012-12-23 09:44
AS the person who referenced Hamilton, let me add that both Hamilton and Washington were cynical about the effectiveness and value of depending on a universal militia, having seen their deficiencies first-hand during the Revolution. Both preferred a professional army backed up by "select militia," (which is what today's National Guard is), as being the most practical and cost-effective security.
You are wrong about Pennsylvania; a MINORITY report, written by an anti-Federalist crank trying to sabotage the entire Constitution, irrationally included hunting in an otherwise militia-oriente d proposal, but it never even got voted on, much less submitted to Congress. We only have a newspaper version that combined various anti-Fed comments, and we can't know how accurate it was.

Perfect examples of what most submitted proposals dealt with is seen as follows:

New Hampshire Constitution of 1784: "No person who is conscientiously scrupulous about the lawfulness of bearing arms, shall be compelled thereto, provided he will pay an equivalent."

Rhode Island: "That the people have a right to keep and bear arms;... That any person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms ought to be exempted upon payment of an equivalent to employ another to bear arms in his stead."

The Anti-Federalist s offered no purpose for the Second Amendment other than the perceived danger of standing armies.
 
 
+3 # BeaDeeBunker 2012-12-23 11:42
It seems to me that this comment page contains a lot of factual material that sheds a bright light on the issue of the 2nd Amendment, the Militia Acts of 1792, the original intent of the Founders, the writing of the US constitution, et al.

Why is it that the current Supreme Court of the United States doesn't seem to know the same facts and factual references that 'we the people' can grasp, articulate and discuss in an open forum, as concerned citizens, ready, willing and able to make America a 'more perfect union?'

The decisions coming down from SCOTUS, indicate to me that our honored Justices have to go back to school. 'We the people' are ahead of them on all fronts. Perhaps we should make use of 21st century technology, and e-mail them all, copies of all the material that is readily available to everyone who cares to seek it out.

As the late Sy Syms of retail fame said, "An educated consumer is our best customer." Likewise, "An educated CITIZEN is our best CITIZEN."
 
 
+2 # Pickwicky 2012-12-23 14:50
BeeDee--all true. Unfortunately, the buckaroos of America, lead by that stoutly immoral organization the NRA, will never believe the true meaning of the 2nd amendment, nor will they accept a new and opposite ruling by SCOTUS. I have a strong hunch those gun-worshiping folks will not voluntarily give up their guns--even for the good of the nation. Moreover, hoping for the present composition of the Supreme Court to overturn previous and faulty rulings on the 2nd is a half cut above the impossible event.

Ah,but wouldn't it be loverly --if only.
 
 
0 # BeaDeeBunker 2012-12-23 22:34
I appreciate the fact that you agree with me. That makes two of us at least. That's a start, and the beauty of this form of communication is that as the citizens become more and more aware of what power there is in real awareness and active participation, the numbers will grow and things will change.
The squeaky wheel gets the oil. WD-40 will be our salvation...now that will indeed be lovely.
 
 
0 # dovelane1 2012-12-25 06:54
Unfortunately, the squeaky often gets changed.

I posted this on a reply early in this thread, so I don't know if you saw it or not, but MoveOn.Org is starting a petition that will make all the arguments moot. It would require all gun owners to be required to serve in a regular militia as a condition of owning a gun.
 
 
+2 # lamancha 2012-12-23 14:12
Mr. Parry nails it right on the head - what I and other common-sense people have thought and said all along: The very essence & subject of the 2nd " A WELL REGULATED MILITIA" cannot be ignored, which is what the NRA & the far right have been machinating & foisting on the public for far too long. They have taken the 2nd entirely out of context, "proving" so far, with alarming acceptance, that "the people" ( whom at the time stood tantamount to our current armed forces ), continue to possess unrestrained power to bear arms. What a pure crock! Let's face it - the 2nd was not framed with the future composition of our country in mind - but you cannot dispossess the fact that military grade weapons in the hands of civilians is an abomination & contradictory to the clearly worded SUBJECT of the 2nd: " a well regulated militia." Why, so far, have The Congress and Presidents ignored that very fact, that essence??
 
 
+1 # natalierosen 2012-12-25 17:07
EXCELLENT opinion and 100% correct in every way. I suggest we all cut and paste this into a document and send it throughout the land giving credit of course to Robert Parry for a brilliantly written piece!
 
 
0 # Kwamined 2012-12-27 06:56
My mother taught me to load and shoot a rifle. Her family owned/owns many firearms. I grew up in the Finger Lakes region of Central New York -- dairy country with lakes, streams, forests -- where fishing and hunting are a part of the culture. I admire that way of life.
But I am convinced the NRA is a terrorist organization; that much stricter gun regulation is urgently needed; that the lessons of Japan and Australia, among many other countries, are not rocket science.
On the other hand, the idea of a total ban on firearms terrifies me. At that point, only the gov't or its mercenary minions will have weapons -- the very definition of tyranny. dictatorship, law of the gun.
Yes, criminals will always find ways to procure weapons. All the more reason to tighten gun regulations and laws with mandatory background checks, a ban on gun shows, and similar laws; especially, bans of assault rifles and extended magazines. I know of no true sportsman who owns one of these for hunting, though a few own them for the thrill of firing them off in a sand quarry.
Yeah, it's a rush. Any motorcyclist or sports-car owner knows the feel of a powerful machine. Even the pacifists who eat meat though they will not kill meat themselves, nor take responsibility for their demand for meat.
Yes: the NRA is a terrorist organization. Stricter regulation of guns -- all weapons -- is required.
But: When only the gov't has legal guns, or criminals illegal ones, American citizens will be defenseless.
 
 
0 # dfy 2013-02-05 19:02
Quoting tadn54:
Can anyone explain someones' psychological underpinnings of a gun owner/users affinity towards it? Is it a feeling of invincibilty when they have a gun? Is it some macho thing, firing/owning a gun? Is it some inexplicable orgasmic feeling firing a gun? Again, it's beyond my comprehension.
If they truly believe the world out there is that dangerous, they're delusional.

I cannot even find the thrill in hunting; if they want a real manly sport, hunt and kill that lethal and dreaded deer or menacing duck with a bow and arrow (as some real hunters do).

If you wanna do something manly, take your kids to the park, hug them on the monkey bars, and tell them you'll always be there.

The Kleck study concludes that there are 2.5 million defensive gun uses(DGU) per year, 400,000 of them thwarting an instance of attempted murder. A low end estimation of DGU's is 100,000 per year. Using Kleck's ratio of attempted murder thwaring, 16%, produces a figure of 16,000 DGU's per year or 44 per day. Child killing with guns is 1.7 per day. More homicides are committed with baseball bats than guns. Take the guns away to protect the children and more people will die. Guns are not the problem, criminals with guns are the problem. Criminals will not turn in their guns because criminals don't obey laws. Gun control will create a disarmed victim population.
 
 
0 # HenryBowman 2014-05-07 05:13
The Puckle gun was a 32mm British flintlock machine gun invented by James Puckle in 1718. It fired from a replaceable 11 round revolving block, was mounted on a tripod and was designed to be portable.

Your argument that our founding fathers could not have conceived of repeating weapons when writing the Second Amendment is invalid.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puckle_gun
 

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