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View Diary: Dear Founding Fathers... (89 comments)

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  •  They read that comma as a semi-colon. (11+ / 0-)

    Even though it makes the first part a incomplete sentence, since it's a dependent clause.

    Yeah, I'm gonna just argue this from a grammar point of view.  The "two parts" cannot be take separately.  The first part clarifies the second, which can stand alone, but for some reason the author added the dependent clause.

    Therefore, the first part existed for a reason and cannot be ignored or treated separately.

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 03:04:28 PM PST

    •  The 2nd amendment (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bontemps2012, Laconic Lib, Janet 707

      Was only meant to reassure the anti-federalists that the government wasn't going to disarm them.

      The right to keep and bear arms was already common law.

      In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry, and is generally considered to have been a bad move. -- Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

      by boriscleto on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 03:22:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, it was for slave and frontier states (0+ / 0-)

        who realized that they would be fucked if the federal government passed a law against arms.

        The right to keep and bear arms was as extensive as the states allowed them, because common law rights are whaqt a judge says it is, and in any event can be undone, amended or revoked by statute.  Which is why you don't see lots of talk about indigenous people and bound labor having rights to guns.

        One piece of free advice to the GOP: Drop the culture wars, explicitly.

        by Inland on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 03:45:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, None Of The Above (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          stevenaxelrod, mightymouse

          If you survey the various provisions (and proposals for same) in state constitutions that eventually led up to the Second Amendment, it is spelled out more or less clearly that the whole idea was to have functioning and easily called up militias for defense of the town, county, state, or country as applicable. At the time nobody wanted or was willing to pay for a full-time standing army - they had had too much of that, used against them, 1765-1775. So "well-regulated militias" which could be called up on short notice were the only practical alternative.

          It worked, sort of, as long as the United States remained small, isolated, relatively backward, and not at war with itself.

          Those days are gone - blown away for good with the smoke from the guns of Fort Sumter.

          If it's
          Not your body,
          Then it's
          Not your choice
          And it's
          None of your damn business!

          by TheOtherMaven on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:01:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's not inconsistent with what I said. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mightymouse

            The state consitutions spelled out what the states considered their militias, and the federal government's ability to interfere with that was limited by the second amendment.

            If a state wanted to do away with its militia, or arm it with penknives only, that's the state's perogative.  There's no individual right to own a gun. As shown by all the people denied that right.

            One piece of free advice to the GOP: Drop the culture wars, explicitly.

            by Inland on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:23:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Including swords. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Laconic Lib, TheOtherMaven, Janet 707

        "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012

        by bontemps2012 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 04:37:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you. I saw that years ago. (4+ / 0-)

      A dependent clause introduces the second part and is the foundation for the second part. Arms belonged to an organized fighting force and not a paranoid mob.

      I remember years ago someone asked Charlton Heston to recite the second amendment and he said, "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." He grinned when asked about the first part, and I'm paraphrasing, but he implied that too many people were too interested in that first part. The Supreme Court, of course, went with their conservative impulse and not the "originalist" language in this case.

      "They come, they come To build a wall between us We know they won't win."--Crowded House, "Don't Dream It's Over."

      by Wildthumb on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 03:29:10 PM PST

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      •  P.S. For some reason, I remember a dependent (0+ / 0-)

        clause from Don Quixote that I ran across years ago (in English translation): "These preparations having been made,"
        {the Don was able to sally forth on his nag}. In other words, Quixote couldn't start his adventure without the preparations.

        "They come, they come To build a wall between us We know they won't win."--Crowded House, "Don't Dream It's Over."

        by Wildthumb on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 03:32:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Would it be too strictly constructionist (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wildthumb

        to pass a law allowing people to keep and bear the arms they already have, but not allow them to buy anymore?

        It doesn't say anything about the right to BUY guns does it?

        And the government does have the right to regulate commerce.

        I mean, if the right can totally bypass the dependent clause, we can stick to the exact meaning of the words.

        The sleep of reason brings forth monsters. --Goya

        by MadScientist on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 04:55:34 PM PST

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        •  Just about as likely to... (0+ / 0-)

          ...be accepted as disallowing the purchase or possession of paper, ink, printing presses, printed materials, TVs, radios, and internet access would be.

          Such laws would not be "abridging the freedom of the press" any more or less than banning the purchase, by the people, of firearms would have "infringed" on  "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms".

    •  I think it is the opposite (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laconic Lib

      The first part does not clarify the second part.  Rather, the first part is an assumption, then the author states the second part. The second part rests on the assumption of the first part -- though it is not clear how the second part flows from the first part. They arguably could be separate statements because the there is no coodinartor word.  They work equally fine and are equally confusing as either two sentences (assuming "being" is changed to "is") or as the one sentence. There is nothing very clear about the sentence at all other than that the author intended the principal part of the sentence to focus on prohibiting infringement of whatever right that is asserted.

      •  If it's an assumption, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mike101

        why is it necessary to specifically spell it out, stating what it is, AND why it's necessary?

        Grammatically, "A well regulated Militia IS a necessity of a free state" works, but the word being and the comma changes it to a dependent clause.  

        Nope, the second part clearly is to deal with what is set up in the first part.  Interesting how if that reading you suggest is correct, it's the only amendment to address two different subjects.

        In other words, Nope it's ONE point, and it refers to militia, not individuals.

        I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

        by detroitmechworks on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 04:27:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Still not convinced (0+ / 0-)

          Why would it principally deal with a well regulated militia when the point of the 10 amendments in the "Bill of Rights" was to restrict the central government's power?  Your reading would be the one that makes it different from the other 10.  Several of the other 10 (including the 1st amendment) deal with multiple matters.

          •  States... (0+ / 0-)

            Have militias.  Therefore, it deals with the states rights to resist a federal government in the worst case scenario.

            As far as the other amendments go, the "Multiple matters" are clearly related.

            One could argue the same for the 2nd amendment, however, that assumes that the individual "Right To Arms" was considered equal with that of the state's rights to arm and maintain a militia.

            In no case can I find a similarity with any other amendment where the rights of states and the rights of individuals are conflated.

            I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

            by detroitmechworks on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:22:35 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  more like a co-dependent clause /nt (3+ / 0-)

      yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

      by annieli on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 03:58:15 PM PST

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    •  You forget, they also wrote "chuse". (0+ / 0-)

      And forgot one of the Ns in pennsylvania.

      So, you go ahead and 'chuse' to tackle the grammar. Have fun with that.

      It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the stuff in the kitchen.

      by JayFromPA on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 06:21:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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