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View Diary: Should we amend the US Constitution? Justice Stevens thinks so, incl. 2nd Amendment (new book) (321 comments)

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  •  My understanding (as a non-lawyer) (4+ / 0-)

    is that the 2nd amendment was devised with three purposes:

    1.  The framers wanted a citizen's militia so that the government need not rely on standing armies.  The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire was fresh in their minds.

    2.  Those in the Southern States lived in perpetual fear of slave revolts, and required a means to subdue their uppity property.  

    3.  Frontiersman required weapons to exterminate Native Americans.

    Perhaps there was a fourth:  citizens needed weapons to shoot each other.  It seems unlikely since nothing in the amendment, or in the writings of the framers, mentions that right at all.

    All three of the original reason for the 2nd amendment are obsolete.  The US has a standing army, there are no more slaves, and the Natives have been virtually exterminated.  

     

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 09:10:20 AM PST

    •  The big one was oppressive government. (0+ / 0-)

      They had just fought the best army in the world for their independence.  Like the other amendments this was a bulwark against tyranny.  The slave-related arguments don't hold a lot of water it seems.

    •  Not obsolete. (0+ / 0-)
      1.  The framers wanted a citizen's militia so that the government need not rely on standing armies.  The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire was fresh in their minds.
      The fact that their successors forsook their wisdom and allowed a permanent war establishment to exist does not render obsolete the option of correcting that error.

      Politics means controlling the balance of economic and institutional power. Everything else is naming post offices.

      by happymisanthropy on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 03:37:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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