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View Diary: Michael Moore: The gun lobby, tonight, is on the ropes. (Updated 2x!) (192 comments)

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  •  In the 18th century, it took about a minute to (5+ / 0-)

    reload a gun.  On semi-automatic it's what? 1/2 sec?  And rifling, no less.

    There is NO equivalence between guns today and what the founders were writing about.  NONE.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 07:14:48 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  That's a good point (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      polecat, CA wildwoman

      I think you're agreeing. I am absolutely not saying this should be normal.

      I was saying mostly Scalia read (Judicial Activism) into the law also. The second amendment makes no mention of I have a right in a time of peace having nothing to do with not being part of a Militia or a country at war to own a gun.

      No one can show where it is because it isn't there. There is no Constitutional Gun right. I think we are agreeing.

      But that is also a great point. I don't think they could've foreseen, and they weren't even talking about this guy having a right at his house to have a Musket.

      He can't have a grenade? Maybe that'd only kill half? But MORE deadly, yeah because a bunch of guys x years before single action thought militia's would stay important. I'd love to see a poll of what people think the constitution says and why.

      People who weren't talking so it isn't opportunism. (NRA "they always were against guns" no you need gun owners to say enough is enough).

    •  History of 2nd Language (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      polecat, Pompatus
      James Madison's initial proposal for a bill of rights was brought to the floor of the House of Representatives on June 8, 1789, during the first session of Congress. The initial proposed passage relating to arms was:

          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.[81]

      On July 21, Madison again raised the issue of his Bill and proposed a select committee be created to report on it. The House voted in favor of Madison's motion,[82] and the Bill of Rights entered committee for review. The committee returned to the House a reworded version of the Second Amendment on July 28.[83] On August 17, that version was read into the Journal:

          A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; but no person religiously scrupulous shall be compelled to bear arms.[84]

      The Second Amendment was debated and modified during sessions of the House on in late August 1789. These debates revolved primarily around risk of "mal-administration of the government" using the "religiously scrupulous" clause to destroy the militia as Great Britain had attempted to destroy the militia at the commencement of the American Revolution. These concerns were addressed by modifying the final clause, and on August 24, the House sent the following version to the Senate:

          A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; but no one religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.

      The next day, August 25, the Senate received the Amendment from the House and entered it into the Senate Journal. When the Amendment was transcribed, the semicolon in the religious exemption portion was changed to a comma by the Senate scribe:

          A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed, but no one religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.[85]

      By this time, the proposed right to keep and bear arms was in a separate amendment, instead of being in a single amendment together with other proposed rights such as the due process right. As a Representative explained, this change allowed each amendment to "be passed upon distinctly by the States."[86] On September 4, the Senate voted to change the language of the Second Amendment by removing the definition of militia, and striking the conscientious objector clause:

          A well regulated militia, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.[87]

      The Senate returned to this amendment for a final time on September 9. A proposal to insert the words "for the common defence" next to the words "bear arms" was defeated.[88] The Senate then slightly modified the language and voted to return the Bill of Rights to the House. The final version passed by the Senate was:

          A well regulated militia being the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

      The House voted on September 21, 1789 to accept the changes made by the Senate, but the amendment as finally entered into the House journal contained the additional words "necessary to":

          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.[89]

      On December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the Constitution) was adopted, having been ratified by three-fourths of the States.

      •  Yeah, but what does it actually MEAN? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ClevelandAttorney

        Not what we're seeing today, that's for sure.

        Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
        I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
        —Spike Milligan

        by polecat on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 07:36:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah wouldn't seem tough (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          polecat, mkor7

          when it says you know, militia. But, those non-judicial activists made sure we knew HOW they REALLY meant militia (as in didn't mean anything).

          Three basic competing models were offered to interpret the Second Amendment:[107]

              The first, known as the "states' rights" or "collective rights" model, was that the Second Amendment did not apply to individuals; rather, it recognized the right of a state to arm its militia.

              The second, known as the "sophisticated collective rights model", held that the Second Amendment recognized some limited individual right. However, this individual right could only be exercised by members of a functioning, organized state militia while actively participating in the organized militia’s activities.

              The third, known as the "standard model", was that the Second Amendment recognized the personal right of individuals to keep and bear arms.

          Under both of the collective rights models, the opening phrase was considered essential as a pre-condition for the main clause.[108] These interpretations held that this was a grammar structure that was common during that era[109] and that this grammar dictated that the Second Amendment protected a collective right to firearms to the extent necessary for militia duty.
          So much for strict construction?

          THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE (from Heller)

          Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority in Heller, stated:

              Nowhere else in the Constitution does a “right” attributed to “the people” refer to anything other than an individual right. What is more, in all six other provisions of the Constitution that mention “the people,” the term unambiguously refers to all members of the political community, not an unspecified subset. This contrasts markedly with the phrase “the militia” in the prefatory clause. As we will describe below, the “militia” in colonial America consisted of a subset of “the people”— those who were male, able bodied, and within a certain age range. Reading the Second Amendment as protecting only the right to “keep and bear Arms” in an organized militia therefore fits poorly with the operative clause’s description of the holder of that right as “the people”.[116]

          Justice John Paul Stevens countered in his dissent:

              When each word in the text is given full effect, the Amendment is most naturally read to secure to the people a right to use and possess arms in conjunction with service in a well-regulated militia. So far as appears, no more than that was contemplated. But the Court itself reads the Second Amendment to protect a “subset” significantly narrower than the class of persons protected by the First and Fourth Amendments; when it finally drills down on the substantive meaning of the Second Amendment, the Court limits the protected class to “law-abiding, responsible citizens”.[117]


           Meaning of "keep and bear arms"
          In Heller the majority rejected the view that the term "to bear arms" implies only the military use of arms:

              Before addressing the verbs “keep” and “bear,” we interpret their object: “Arms.” The term was applied, then as now, to weapons that were not specifically designed for military use and were not employed in a military capacity. Thus, the most natural reading of “keep Arms” in the Second Amendment is to “have weapons.” At the time of the founding, as now, to “bear” meant to “carry.” In numerous instances, “bear arms” was unambiguously used to refer to the carrying of weapons outside of an organized militia. Nine state constitutional provisions written in the 18th century or the first two decades of the 19th, which enshrined a right of citizens “bear arms in defense of themselves and the state” again, in the most analogous linguistic context—that “bear arms” was not limited to the carrying of arms in a militia. The phrase “bear Arms” also had at the time of the founding an idiomatic meaning that was significantly different from its natural meaning: “to serve as a soldier, do military service, fight” or “to wage war.” But it unequivocally bore that idiomatic meaning only when followed by the preposition “against,”. Every example given by petitioners’ amici for the idiomatic meaning of “bear arms” from the founding period either includes the preposition “against” or is not clearly idiomatic. In any event, the meaning of “bear arms” that petitioners and Justice Stevens propose is not even the (sometimes) idiomatic meaning. Rather, they manufacture a hybrid definition, whereby “bear arms” connotes the actual carrying of arms (and therefore is not really an idiom) but only in the service of an organized militia. No dictionary has ever adopted that definition, and we have been apprised of no source that indicates that it carried that meaning at the time of the founding. Worse still, the phrase “keep and bear Arms” would be incoherent. The word “Arms” would have two different meanings at once: “weapons” (as the object of “keep”) and (as the object of “bear”) one-half of an idiom. It would be rather like saying “He filled and kicked the bucket” to mean “He filled the bucket and died.”[116]

          In a dissent, joined by Justices Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer, Justice Stevens said:

              The Amendment’s text does justify a different limitation: the “right to keep and bear arms” protects only a right to possess and use firearms in connection with service in a state-organized militia. Had the Framers wished to expand the meaning of the phrase “bear arms” to encompass civilian possession and use, they could have done so by the addition of phrases such as “for the defense of themselves”.[117]

      •  Something seems to be missing (3+ / 0-)

        In the real world, that whole "well regulated" part is nowhere to be found.

        Mitt Romney is filthy rich. And if he lost all his money, he'd still be filthy.

        by frsbdg on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 07:44:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Or "Militia"? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shaharazade

          One would think that implies like government oversite/training

          Esp as at first:
          On May 8, 1792, Congress passed "[a]n act more effectually to provide for the National Defence, by establishing an Uniform Militia throughout the United States" requiring:

             [E]ach 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...[and] 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.[91]

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