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A Well Regulated Militia...

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by Wirey, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. Wirey

    Wirey Fartist

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    I completely agree. But why does America maintain that 'militia' stuff? You guys can update your constitution, right?
     
  2. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    Bingo! If gun ownership opponents want to take away the right to own them, they need a constitutional amendment.
    The idea of an organized militia seems outdated, but it isn't a right which we'd expect to exercise on a regular basis.
    Think of it as similar to fire insurance. I have it, but I've never used it.

    Banning stuff that people really really want has worked so well before. I favor altering the constitution to expand rights,
    rather than lose them. Look at our leaders....would you trust them with a completely unarmed populace?
     
    #22 Revoltingest, Jul 24, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2012
  3. 4consideration

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    We can update our constitution. The process for doing is purposely very involved -- among other things to keep fads from being the basis for change, as well as to protect from a particular group changing it to increase it's own power.

    I think that you are overlooking that the reason it is in a document is to limit the legal power of the government in that regard -- not to require, or provide individual justification for owning arms. A tyrant in power could overstep those bounds, but that Ammendment would provide legal recourse, instead of requiring it to play out in massive bloodshed.

    As a recongized "right" rather than "duty" an individual is neither automatically required, nor prohibited regarding bearing arms -- based upon that specific Ammendment. Other laws have been enacted at various other levels.

    The whole point of the Constituition is to establish functions and establish the boundaries of the federal government's activities. Everything not specifically included is supposed to be left to the individuals, or state or local government.
     
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  4. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    We should also consider that the "militia" was essentially defined originally as all able bodied adult males.
    So that already accounts for a whole lotta members. The organization part needn't be continuous, but rather
    a step taken when the need arises. This might seem extreme & antiquated for a country which hasn't rebelled
    in 150 years or so, but history shows that no empire lasts forever, & when the fall comes tis better to be armed
    with guns than not.
     
  5. Sir Doom

    Sir Doom Cooler than most of you

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    I don't know if rattling on about fundamental principles of warfare are going to matter here, but I'll bring it up anyway.

    Without a suitable infantry presence no objective can ever be secured. You can't secure a home with a tank. You can't secure a school with a bomb. You can't secure a community center with a UAV. You need infantry to do all of those things. Boots on the ground and eyeballs in every direction. Room by room and building by building.

    This means, that no matter how many aircraft carriers you park in San Francisco Bay, you can't be sure the city is yours until you literally occupy it. This opens the door wide to a war of attrition by an armed and dedicated populace.
     
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  6. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    And thus, the importance of small arms.
    I wonder though how this balance of power will change with new technology?
    (Think Minority Report.)
     
  7. Wirey

    Wirey Fartist

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    Agreed. However, the US has a sizable contingent of trained, well equipped infantry available. You might not be able to secure a home with a tank, but you can make the platoon securing the home almost invunerable with one. Assuming a scenario where the federal government decides to use troops against the populace, and further assuming the troops have a good will to combat, an armed populace cannot reasonably expect to stay in the fight very long. The comparisons to the Middle East fighting of an attrition style war don't hold up, either. You can't make the US Army or Marines go home, they're already there. If they have reached a point where they are properly motivated to suppress the local population, the smart money is on the trained soldiers. You might be able to pinprick them, but I'm betting the resources they have access to will win out.
     
  8. Wirey

    Wirey Fartist

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    The only real hope for the general population if the army rolls out is that whatever crisis starts the whole thing spreads to the military. A handful of bumpkins with hunting rifles are in over their heads against a platoon of Marines.
     
  9. Copernicus

    Copernicus Godless Hierophant

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    Wirey, there is a common misconception that the 2nd amendment is there to enable civilians to rebel against government. That is not the way it was interpreted in the 18th century. It was there to ensure that the members of state militias could supply their own weapons for militia duties. That is why the preamble to the 2nd mentions militias--to establish the purpose of the amendment. In reality, militias were organized military forces under the leadership of a governor, and citizens could be (and were) conscripted into them in order to put down insurrections. During the Whiskey Rebellion, the federal government actually led state militia troops to put down a popular insurrection against the imposition of an excise tax on liquor.

    The original idea of the 2nd amendment (in the minds of Anti-federalists, anyway) was to establish state militia forces as a counterbalance to a federal standing army, if the federal army were to attempt to impose a tyranny. During the Civil War, one could argue that they were used that way. However, the federal government took a different view and prevailed. After the Civil War, state militias were nationalized. The original purpose of the 2nd amendment has been rendered moot. It is not there to enable rebellion against federal or state authorities, although there are a lot of people who see that as its purpose.
     
  10. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli
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    Because it works?

    TBH, I have no idea why.

    not even close.
     
  11. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    Some thoughts of the founders/framers paint a picture which is at odds with your claim.....
    - "To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them." George Mason
    - "The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that... it is their right and duty to be at all times armed." Thomas Jefferson
    - "We should not forget that the spark which ignited the American Revolution was caused by the British attempt to confiscate the firearms of the colonists." Patrick Henry
    - " ...arms...discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. ...Horrid mischief would ensue were (the law-abiding) deprived the use of them." Thomas Paine
    - "Americans have the right and advantage of being armed – unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." James Madison
    - "The Constitution shall never be construed … to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms." Samuel Adams (the guy on the beer bottles)
    - " The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." Alexander Hamilton
    - "To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them." Richard Henry Lee
    - Regarding the 2nd Amendment being an individual right....."The whole of the Bill (of Rights) is a declaration of the right of the people at large or considered as individuals.... It establishes some rights of the individual as unalienable and which consequently, no majority has a right to deprive them of." (Albert Gallatin of the New York Historical Society, October 7, 1789)
    - "What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty.... Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins." (Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment [ I Annals of Congress at 750 {August 17, 1789}])

    There are more.
     
  12. CaptainXeroid

    CaptainXeroid Following Christ

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    Frubals for the best post of the thread, and highlights on these excellent points!

    I think the confusion among some people is that they are under the mistaken conception that rights come from government. According the Declaration of Independence, rights come from God, and governments are 'instituted among men' to protect those rights.
     
  13. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    They can say that all they want, but there is wide disagreement on just what rights "God" would grant us.
    Government has the penultimate say in this. But final say rests with an armed populace. God remains silent on the issue.
    As is often said, "The 2nd Amendment is the teeth behind the others.".
     
    #33 Revoltingest, Jul 24, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2012
  14. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli
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    interesting how the government can remove those "God given rights" after due process...


    Even more interesting is what that fact does to you claim....
     
  15. Iti oj

    Iti oj Global warming is real and we need to act
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    Hey it happened once in american history. .
     
  16. Wirey

    Wirey Fartist

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    A government can't remove a right, they can remove a privilege. If the government can take it away, it's not a right.
     
  17. Sir Doom

    Sir Doom Cooler than most of you

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    A tank is extremely vulnerable to infantry when its surrounded by alleyways and buildings its occupants can't see through or over or behind. Infantry must, in fact, guard tanks in an urban setting as opposed to the other way around. Further, when clearing a building room by room, I don't know what you think a tank can do to secure a soldier from injury. It is a non-factor to urban operations.

    Both the soldiers and civilians will stay in the fight as long as they remain uninjured and retain the will to fight. It's equal on both sides.

    On the contrary, a US soldier in Falujah has absolutely no reasonable means to get home, while a US soldier in Denver stands a far better chance of doing exactly that. Especially if they live in Denver and their commander is telling them to shoot up their own High School.

    'Proper motivation' is not a static quality. You can't just assume that soldiers become sociopathic automatons who have no involvement with their own actions. If you are suggesting that the revolt of the populace is unwarranted, then I think we are definitely discussing two different topics. If you are talking about some fringe-group staging some kind of insane coup over a city, then all I can say is that is just one more reason for sane individuals like myself to have a gun. If on the other hand, you are suggesting that the the civilian population is fully justified in their revolt and the soldiers are simply 'following orders' by quelling it, then we can't ignore the fact that some of those soldiers would be persuaded very easily by the civilian populace. Even those that ignored the political nuance of the situation could eventually be persuaded through attrition that it simply wasn't worth the fight. Naturally, this could go the other way as well. Civilians could be persuaded to give up just as easily. But we should be assuming the revolt is warranted. I certainly wouldn't join one that didn't seem absolutely crucial to the freedom of my fellow human beings. When they deploy the National Guard to put down a riot, I don't grab my rifle and dream of revolt. That's just lunacy, not freedom.
     
  18. Copernicus

    Copernicus Godless Hierophant

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    There are, indeed, a lot of web sites that are devoted to spinning the myth that the Second has broader meaning than militia duty. The gun lobby is one of the best-organized and best-funded special interest groups in the country. They put out a much larger volume of propaganda than the other side in the gun control debate, especially on the internet.

    The current Court has been the first to impose such a broad interpretation on Second, explicitly expanding it to non-militia functions. Previous Courts have seen the right as limited to militia duty, and a future Supreme Court decision can just as easily re-establish the narrower interpretation. But gun control laws are not invalidated by the Second Amendment even under the broader definition. The government can impose restrictions on the availability of certain types of guns, including assault weapons. Nobody will win a court battle to legalize the possession of automatic weapons, which are banned by law.

    Most of the folks you quoted, not surprisingly, were in the Anti-federalist camp, which lost their bid to block the ratification of the Constitution. The Supreme Court has the final say in how to interpret the Constitution, but that document clearly treats insurrection as treason. The Second Amendment did not sanction rebellion or insurrection, as my reference to the Whiskey Rebellion showed. What it did was guarantee the right to keep and bear arms for a type of militia duty that is no longer extant--one in which members of the militia were expected to supply their own weapons.
     
    #38 Copernicus, Jul 24, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2012
  19. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    Oh no! I'm proven wrong because there are "web sites"! Some are are pro gun "special interest groups"!
    Quotes are just quotes....you'll note that I provided no commentary which could be called "spin".
    Are you saying that the quotes are inaccurate? Or that they don't mean what they appear to mean?
    Let's bear in mind that your criticism cuts both ways. There are many anti-gun websites who spin
    things your way too, eg, calling non-assault weapons "assault weapons" in order to heighten the hysteria,
    pushing the myth of the "gun show loophole" which allows me to buy an ordinary rifle with no background
    check - news flash! Stores don't do that either.

    When it comes to constitutional law, the USSC carries some weight, but when they conflict with actual language of the
    Constitution & with apparent intent of the founders, I'll go with the latter. Besides, do you have some knowledge of the
    2nd Amendment which is superior to the justices? (Gawd, that sounds snarky, but the question is compelling.)

    What contrary evidence do you have to offer?
     
    #39 Revoltingest, Jul 24, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2012
  20. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli
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    Then you have absolutely no rights.
     
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