Skip to main content

View Diary: Is the 2nd Amendment Really Intended as a Safeguard from Tyranny? (95 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Failure to Discuss? (5+ / 0-)

    How? You're apparently confusing some things here.

    Here's a brief history lesson for you. In order of events.

    1. Declaration of Independence.
    2. Revolutionary War
    3. Constitution

    Seeing as how you apparently missed it the first time around. The Framers learned a thing or two during the actual revolution.

    They were naive in what they thought a militia could do to some degree.

    Beyond that you're confusing how they felt about what they perceived as a foreign government with what they felt about the government they were creating.

    What you perceive as "failing to discuss the predicate of the Declaration of Independence" is actually a purposeful and deliberate omission of what doesn't belong in the conversation.

    It's not a failure to do something. It's just not shoehorning something which doesn't belong in the conversation into it.

    •  English Bill of Rights 1689 (3+ / 0-)

      Do any of these sound familiar?

      That it is the right of the subjects to petition the king, and all commitments and prosecutions for such petitioning are illegal;

      That the raising or keeping a standing army within the kingdom in time of peace, unless it be with consent of Parliament, is against law;

      That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law;

      That the freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in Parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament;

      That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted;

      That jurors ought to be duly impanelled and returned, and jurors which pass upon men in trials for high treason ought to be freeholders;

      It is my contention that you can not understand the Bill of Rights without looking at English Common Law, the English Civil War, and the English Bill of Rights that grow out of the subsequent struggle with King James II. The Americans were British citizens up to that fateful summer in 1776.

      Consider this:

      [In April 1786 John Adams hosted Thomas Jefferson in London. Here, they have visited Shakespeare's home, where Jefferson was deeply moved, and now are surveying Cromwell's battle sites.]

      "At Edgehill, scene of the first great battle of the English civil war, and later at Worchester, the setting of Cromwell's final victory over Charles II [sic], in the year 1651, it was Adams' turn to be deeply moved. This was history he knew in detail. Here were "scenes where freemen had fought for their rights," he wrote in his diary. Finding some of the local residents sadly ignorant of the subject, he gave them an impromptu lecture.

      "And do Englishmen so soon forget the ground where liberty was fought for?" he asked. "Tell your neighbors and your children that this is holy ground,…All England should come in pilgrimage to this hill once a year." "

      It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

      by se portland on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 01:19:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And those rights (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        se portland

        were expanded. The English Bill of Rights were Parliament against the Crown. The US Government has a much different structure and intent.

        But heck, they even allowed all protestants to bear arms!

        •  "I fear we have traded one George for another." (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          annecros

          That was what was overheard during Washington's Inauguration. The fear was that a standing army would allow a George Washington to rule as a king, to station armies in your home's, as James the II had done.

          The Constitution would allow a National army (The whole Federalist/Anti-Federalist is a bit reversed, it you ask me. The Anti-Federalist were actually the Federalist and the Federalist were the Nationalist. But I digress.) It was a contentious idea at the time. Madison was smart. He fashioned an amendment that placated opposition, but did nothing to diminish Article 1, Section 8, Clause 16. Much in the same way the Third was intended to appeal to the old fears of a 'new George', but it did nothing to stop the new National government from build barracks, forts, and camps.

          Robert Whitehill and Patrick Henry, who were dead set against a standing army, tried to add all sorts of poison pills to kill the proposed constitution, but Madison out maneuvered them.

          After the war of 1812 the idea of the standing army was a past gone discussion. American would always have a standing army to provide for the common defense.

          Post Script, when the Spanish American War broke out the U.S. called up the militias -  and more than half of them did not even show up. The ones that did, were so poorly trained that they were more of  a danger than an asset, hence the Militia Act of 1903 setting up the National Guard.

          It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

          by se portland on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 02:46:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That was heard during the inauguration ? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            se portland

            That's the best you've got. "Someone" heard "something" during the inauguration and that means that the entire process of writing the Constitution and ratifying process never happened?

            I'm fully aware of the history of how the 2nd Amendment came about, but it WAS NOT to fight against tyrannical government.

            The safeguards against that are embedded in the democracy itself, the three branches of government, the balance of powers and the bichambered congress.

            •  Sorry (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              se portland

              BTW, sorry for the tone of my previous comment. You were considerably more respectful than me. I don't know how to edit a comment to amend my tone. Apologies.

              •  There is no edit post publication (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                se portland

                If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

                by CwV on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 03:36:10 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  My father was a Republican (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                backell

                and we use to get pretty brutal in our debates, but we always knew it was a debate of ideas, not personal. I sometimes think he is the reason I become a liberal. He wanted someone to debate, and I took up the part of the devil's advocate.

                But that said, I really, really think the Founding Fathers did not have any problem with people owning guns to hunt and self defense, that was just an accepted - duh. But the Second Amendment had nothing to do with that. It was about the 'common defense', not personal gun ownership for shooting intruders in your home, or hunting deer. Hell, they use to fight duels over points of honor. :)

                But that is not what the Supreme Court said. Whether I like it or not, they ruled that the Second Amendment grants citizens the right to own guns for personal protection. I think they are wrong, but I am not going to start an insurrection over it.

                It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

                by se portland on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 03:41:13 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Than you have to admit (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              annecros

              That a militia is to defend the constitutional government, not overthrow it. The diarist is refuting, and I think rightfully so, the right to insurrection in the constitution.

              But yes I am saying there was a fear of tyrany.

              From Whitehill's discription in the Dictionary of American Biography:

              He was one of the small group which in this period fanned jealousies and suspicions of the Pennsylvania back country into an opposition which was probably the most vehement experienced by any state and nearly resulted in armed conflict... At no period of his official career did Whitehill reflect better his back-country views than as a member of the Pennsylvania convention to ratify the federal Constitution (1787). In the Assembly he sought a delay in the election of delegates ...In the convention he resorted to every device to delay and defeat ratification. He insisted that there were inadequate safeguards against a tyranny and on the day of ratification attempted, without avail, to have fifteen articles incorporated as a bill of rights.
              [Bolded text by me.]

              It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

              by se portland on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 03:12:58 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site