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Sun Jul 22, 2012, 08:21 PM

The security of a free state.

An OP of another thread had difficulty with the idea that people would actually declare that they wanted access to "combat style stuff". When it was pointed out to him that "The second amendment is about "combat style stuff"", he responded with: "But please help discredit yourself by saying out loud that you want the ability to go to war with the police and the army."

I replied with this, and offer it as an OP:

The 2nd Amendment:

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.


String that all out as one sentence with no wraparound. The right side of the sentence is "shall not be infringed", as in "What part of Shall Not Be Infringed don't you understand?". Those who favor the idea of unrestricted access to arms champion this as proof that the FF meant for "the people" to have the right to keep and bear arms; said right being subject to little restriction. This is pretty much close to the true intention, although the language didacts will come in and explain that "abridgment" and "restriction" are not, in fact, infringements, and point out quite accurately that most of the Rights in the Bill of Rights are subject to reasonable restrictions.

The left side of the sentence is "A well regulated militia". Those who favor great or total restriction on civilian access to arms offer this as evidence that the arms referenced in the 2nd Amendment are and should be limited to members of the militia, conveniently ignoring the historic context of what a militia was, and the modern definitions of practically everyone being in the "unorganized militia". The language didacts will quite accurately point out that "well regulated" means well trained - and be summarily dismissed as "splitting hairs".

What doesn't get as much bandwidth is the middle of the sentence:"being necessary to the security of a free state". This is the core sentiment of the 2nd Amendment. This is what it is really about. Not hunting or self defense. It is about the security of a free state. As Chairman Mao put it: “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun". If anyone tries to bring this up, they are shouted down by high count posters who like to type in ALL CAPS, snarky "zingers" or both. The usual theme is that "the people" couldn't possibly prevail against the Government, what with the Government having tanks and aircraft and drones and nukes and poison gas. They rarely even acknowledge the historic examples of irregular forces prevailing against technologically and numerically superior forces, and they don't even consider that many many many people in the police and armed forces would be very reluctant to fire on and engage their own mothers fathers sister brothers, indeed who might actually even join them in resisting a government that would choose to use force to eliminate a basic right.

So, yes, the 2nd Amendment is about the ability to go to war with the police and the army. The FF had just done exactly that.

Me, I would rather use the ballot box than the bullet box. Things would have to be seriously, irreparably, broken for me to consider rising up in a general rebellion against a tyrannical government.

But-

The 2nd Amendment is the one that guarantees all the rest.

26 replies, 1982 views

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Arrow 26 replies Author Time Post
Reply The security of a free state. (Original post)
needledriver Jul 2012 OP
xchrom Jul 2012 #1
slackmaster Jul 2012 #15
rfranklin Jul 2012 #2
gejohnston Jul 2012 #4
rfranklin Jul 2012 #9
gejohnston Jul 2012 #10
rfranklin Jul 2012 #12
gejohnston Jul 2012 #16
rfranklin Jul 2012 #17
gejohnston Jul 2012 #19
AtheistCrusader Jul 2012 #20
Starboard Tack Jul 2012 #22
AtheistCrusader Jul 2012 #24
PavePusher Jul 2012 #21
SoutherDem Jul 2012 #3
gejohnston Jul 2012 #5
TPaine7 Jul 2012 #6
sav99 Jul 2012 #7
TPaine7 Jul 2012 #8
DWC Jul 2012 #11
rfranklin Jul 2012 #13
DWC Jul 2012 #18
rfranklin Jul 2012 #23
DWC Jul 2012 #25
rfranklin Jul 2012 #26
slackmaster Jul 2012 #14

Response to needledriver (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 08:31 PM

1. 2a individualist don't recognize or won't - that

It's about defending the state - notnthe reverse.

& not all founding fathers were in agreement about no standing army.

That's how it wound up for a time.

Now we are where we are - w/ a standing army & an airforce.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #1)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 12:40 PM

15. You and I are part of the state. If we are not secure, the state is not secure.

 

You don't have to be an "individualist" to see that the state is made up of individuals, families, neighborhoods, towns, etc.

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Response to needledriver (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 08:34 PM

2. That model of "securing the a free state" has not been operable for many years...

 

It was the model for the Revolutionary War and possibly the model for the Confederate Army where many of the individuals brought their own weapons to the battle but by that time Uncle Sam was issuing weapons to the troops. Government issued weapons have been the standard since that time when the USA has gone to war.

That idea that citizens will defend the state with their personal firearms in this day and age is ludicrous.

And many of the staunchest defenders of the 2nd Amendment actually envision using their firearms against the elected government headquartered in Washington, DC claiming that they are defending "liberty." Remember those ond Amendment remedies that the Tea Party was threatening to use so recently?

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Response to rfranklin (Reply #2)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 09:12 PM

4. It wasn't the model for the Confederate Army

they didn't take their own weapons. Since many of them were drafted, they went at the barrel of a gun.
http://www.army.mil/gettysburg/weaponry/small_arms.html

northern Florida, northern Texas, and Appalachia were popular destinations of draft resisters.

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Response to gejohnston (Reply #4)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 07:37 AM

9. I beg to differ...

 

Arkansas men flocked to the colors, but supplies were a problem. Soldiers had to bring their own clothing and weapons, or hope to secure guns on the battlefield. Patriotic local people equipped home companies whenever they could. Young women made flags, and staged theater parties or strawberry suppers to raise money for military equipment.

The story of a company raised at Mount Ida in Montgomery County is typical of most of the 200 others that mustered in 1861. Two men began organizing the Mount Ida company on July 4, and enlisted a hundred men in two weeks. Weapons included old flintlock rifles and double-barrel shotguns. A homemade drum and a fife made of cane provided martial music.

http://arkansascivilwar.com/about/chapter2.aspx

From the beginning, the Confederacy was ill prepared for war. The Confederacy did not have a large supply of arms or ammunition and hoped to import the necessary tools of war from Europe. Most Confederate soldiers brought their own guns to war.

http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/nchist-civilwar/4692

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Response to rfranklin (Reply #9)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 09:30 AM

10. a couple of units

or antidotes from the beginning really don't count.

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Response to gejohnston (Reply #10)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 12:29 PM

12. Well, I guess that makes my point about the militia and citizen's arms...

 

That model hasn't been operable since the Revolutionary War.

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Response to rfranklin (Reply #12)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 12:43 PM

16. Actually

the model has been in operation in Switzerland. It was in operation, by Canadians, when we invaded during the War of 1812.
Many poor southerners saw it for what it was: ninety percent fighting so the other ten percent, who were exempt from the draft, could own slaves. As the war continued, the draft, CSA becoming more repressive, and failing economy pissed off a lot of people. Session was popular with the elites, but met mixed reviews with everyone else.

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Response to gejohnston (Reply #16)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 01:14 PM

17. Switzerland has had the good sense to stay out wars...

 

So there has never been a test of their system.

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Response to rfranklin (Reply #17)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 01:41 PM

19. They don't have an empire

to drain their resources either. Their system is not designed for offensive wars. That said, their air force is no slouch either.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switzerland_during_the_World_Wars#World_War_II

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Response to rfranklin (Reply #2)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 01:47 PM

20. The security of a free state is served by the militia when

shopkeepers band together to fight off a raving mob, or the governor orders the state guard to activate to fill and place sandbags for flooding, or clear fire breaks.

Not sure why you limit 'defense of the state' to armies with guns.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #20)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 02:33 PM

22. That would be the security of "free enterprise", not "a free state"

A state that needs guns to protect itself from itself is not a free state.

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Response to Starboard Tack (Reply #22)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 02:38 PM

24. I disrespectfully disagree.

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Response to rfranklin (Reply #2)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 02:14 PM

21. Interesting premise.

 

That idea that citizens will defend the state with their personal firearms in this day and age is ludicrous.


Lybia and Syria seem to have missed your message. And they don't even have a Second Amendment. How weird is that?

Fortunately we are a long way from needing to do that and, hopefully, that time will not come.

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Response to needledriver (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 08:59 PM

3. You have a good point and you are right

But, there is a problem which I think you actually pointed out quite well even if it wasn't your intent. People take that one sentence with 3 commas and 4 phrases and keep what they like and discard what they don't. They want it to mean this or that and since they know they are right all others are of course wrong. They want it to mean whatever they want it to be, period.

I hear people want to use a "living constitution" model for one phrase and a "static constitution" model for another.

I think in all fairness to the subject we must not only look into what the FF meant and wanted, but try to think if they knew then what we know today would they have worded it differently. We may also need to take other events into consideration as to how we should consider this Amendment today, things are different, I am not saying the conclusion would be any different but it seems as long as there are questions to the intent and application we will just go in circles.

We need an honest open minded discussion on this subject, but sadly I don't know if that is possible.



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Response to SoutherDem (Reply #3)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 09:15 PM

5. What the FF had in mind, among other things

was not to have a standing army, empire, or MIC. I say do away with all of those and use the saved money for infrastructure jobs and a new CCC. Has been working for the Swiss for over 600 years.
Oh yeah, the Militia Act 1792 required you to buy your own gun.

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Response to SoutherDem (Reply #3)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 09:39 PM

6. Even more important that what the FF thought, IMO, is what the Framers of the 14th Am. thought.

 

Those Abolitionist Framers don't get the credit they deserve. They legally transformed America--for example, before the 14th Amendment, it would have been perfectly legitimate to set up a state church, and only the federal government was forbidden by the Constitution to torture, unreasonably search, etc.

Here's one of my most recent posts about it.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1172&pid=1595

Incidentally, when the Framers of the 14th wrote, guns were much closer in capability to today's weapons that at the Founding.

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Response to TPaine7 (Reply #6)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 10:02 PM

7. Did the Founding Fathers

right anything else regarding this subject that maybe we could look up to get an idea of their position on why it was so important to them that citizens be armed? Maybe something they wrote in letters or something like that.

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Response to sav99 (Reply #7)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 10:26 PM

8. Yes. I don't have time to give you the best citations, so this is just an easy starting point.

 

http://guncite.com/gc2ndfqu.html

I generally trust guncite, but I also verify. I would take this list with a grain of salt, as a starting point. The reason I am cautioning you is that this quote is misleading:

No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
---Thomas Jefferson: Draft Virginia Constitution, 1776.


I've read the entire letter and seen this in context. As I recall, the full sentence is

No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms on his own lands.


It may not be quite as misleading as it first appears, however. If to "use" arms meant to discharge them, as I think it did, then this would simply mean that you could be forbidden to discharge weapons off your own lands, which would be similar to today's laws against discharging weapons inside city limits (except in self-defense, of course).

If I am correct, Jefferson would not be implying that freemen could be forbidden to keep and bear arms in public, but only that they could be forbidden to discharge them.

Even so, it's best to get the context and make up your own mind.

If I wanted to see the context, I would google the quote and .edu like this:

"No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms" ".edu"


That will help you find universities that will have the full text and you can see the context.

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Response to needledriver (Original post)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 11:39 AM

11. At the beginning of WWII

 

One of the first actions of our government was to have 1 million, 45 caliber, single shot, "Liberator" pistols made for mass dissemination to resistance forces in Axis occupied countries where the citizens had been disarmed at a cost of $2.10 each (10 bullets included). The actual purpose was to get really close; shoot an occupier; then take his much better gun(s), bullets; grenades; etc.

In other words, one of the first things we did was provide arms to the disarmed citizenry. Fortunately, in the USA, more than 80 million of us are already armed and will not be disarmed by any general government edict. Due principally to that fact, it has been and will continue to be virtually impossible for any non-representative government to hold power over this Nation.

"Japan would never invade the United States. We would find a rifle behind every blade of grass." - Isoroku Yamamoto

Most self reliant, responsible individuals in the USA like that quote a lot. I know I do.

Semper Fi,

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Response to DWC (Reply #11)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 12:31 PM

13. Yes, but too many think the 2nd Amendment allows them to challenge the duly elected govt.

 

Tea Baggers for instance think they are going to be fighting in the streets against evil Democrat jackboot thugs.

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Response to rfranklin (Reply #13)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 01:30 PM

18. The only way anyone can know

 

how members of any group actually think is to be a member of that group.

Is this true confession time?

Are you coming out of the closet?

Is this just another of those "Yes,but..." statements?

The 2nd amendment help assure the power of arms remains with the individual citizens and not the government. This helps assure there will be no reason for "fighting in the streets" with anyone.

Semper Fi,

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Response to DWC (Reply #18)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 02:35 PM

23. I wasn't out on the street threatening my elected officials but Republican candidates and...

 

Tea Baggers were, so please don't project your amateur psychology on me.

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Response to rfranklin (Reply #23)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 03:14 PM

25. Confusing 2nd amendment rights with politics

 

The Bill of Rights applies to ALL citizens. There is more than enough bad about far right wingers that no one has to make stuff up.

Cite any such assaults by 2nd amendment supporters. If you can I will thank you for the information.

Semper Fi,

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Response to DWC (Reply #25)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 03:56 PM

26. Sorry but I never said any such thing...

 

I said that there have been threats and you say "assaults."

By the way, have you ever posted anything that isn't gun related?

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Response to needledriver (Original post)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 12:39 PM

14. The security of a free state includes security of individuals, families, neighborhoods, towns, etc.

 

Self-defense is part of the security of a free state.

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