Second Amendment
Posted: 14 December 2017 09:41 AM   [ Ignore ]
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In spite of SCOTUS v Miller, 1939

Supreme Court revisited the issue in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller (07-290). The plaintiff in Heller challenged the constitutionality of the Washington D.C. handgun ban, a statute that had stood for 32 years. Many considered the statute the most stringent in the nation. In a 5-4 decision, the Court, meticulously detailing the history and tradition of the Second Amendment at the time of the Constitutional Convention, proclaimed that the Second Amendment established an individual right for U.S. citizens to possess firearms and struck down the D.C. handgun ban as violative of that right.

Prima Facie, this ruling sounds entirely justified, however it ignores a secondary property of the Law.

The Second Amendment reads:

Amendment II
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.

Note that this statement consists of a single sentence separated only by commas, which would support the notion that even if you do not currently belong to an established militia, in case of neccessity that the people may be required to help in defending the security of the free state, your right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

But what happened to the stipulation that this right should be “well regulated”? In the case of private ownership that would mean registration of the arms and a demonstrated proficiency and safe use of those arms.

The ruling also specified that this was an exceptional case, because it was in context of owning a handgun, but ownership of a sawed-off shotgun was against the law. IOW a regulation of certain arms.
Thus you can get arrested for owning a sawed-off shotgun as it was considered a dangerous weapon with no practical use.

How then is it possible that today we can buy semi-automatic weapons with large magazines and certainly should be considered a dangerous weapon in the hands of an unskilled or mentally unstable person? Should that not be “well regulated”?

That phrase “well regulated” has become completely obscured and as the law is applied today, we might as well strike it altogether and the meaning of the law would not change one bit as it stands today.

A militia is by definition well regulated, thus in the language of the time, it means that private ownership should also be subject to “regulation”.

Any legal experts who can defend against this argument?

[ Edited: 14 December 2017 09:47 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 14 December 2017 11:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I’ve always wondered why the founding fathers, who I’m sure were no idiots, were nevertheless so careless in their language on so important of a document. Why isn’t there a specific definition of militia, of arms, and so on. And why the tortured sentence structure.

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Posted: 14 December 2017 04:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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CuthbertJ - 14 December 2017 11:22 AM

I’ve always wondered why the founding fathers, who I’m sure were no idiots, were nevertheless so careless in their language on so important of a document. Why isn’t there a specific definition of militia, of arms, and so on. And why the tortured sentence structure.

A militia at the time was anyone with a weapon who would respond for a cry of help and all “arms” were mussel loaded with black powder.  They had no idea of the changes that would take place in 200 plus years any more than we know what will come in two centuries.

That is why as written, I no longer support the amendment.

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Posted: 14 December 2017 08:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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In the 18th century “well regulated” meant something like“functional” rather than the current meaning.

As for the word “militia”, there are two meanings:

Definition of militia
1 a : a part of the organized armed forces of a country liable to call only in emergency The militia was called to quell the riot.
b : a body of citizens organized for military service
2 : the whole body of able-bodied male citizens declared by law as being subject to call to military service

The second meaning is what the amendment refers to, since it contains no reference to military service in connection with a milita.

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Posted: 14 December 2017 08:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Something wrong with the first link. Here it is: https://armsandthelaw.com/archives/WellRegulatedinold literature.pdf

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Posted: 15 December 2017 10:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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deros - 14 December 2017 04:50 PM
CuthbertJ - 14 December 2017 11:22 AM

I’ve always wondered why the founding fathers, who I’m sure were no idiots, were nevertheless so careless in their language on so important of a document. Why isn’t there a specific definition of militia, of arms, and so on. And why the tortured sentence structure.

A militia at the time was anyone with a weapon who would respond for a cry of help and all “arms” were mussel loaded with black powder.  They had no idea of the changes that would take place in 200 plus years any more than we know what will come in two centuries.

That is why as written, I no longer support the amendment.

Still, we may not know what may come in the future, but we would certainly try to make our best guess or at least put in general limits: By arms we mean single use weapons that a single person can use by carrying in their own arms unassisted to defend themselves, including possibly killing, one person at a time.

There I did it. Or if they meant anything else, they could have easily changed it to be along the lines of “including cannons, machine guns, bombs, etc.” (All of which in some primitive form existed at the time.)

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Posted: 15 December 2017 01:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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CuthbertJ - 15 December 2017 10:29 AM
deros - 14 December 2017 04:50 PM
CuthbertJ - 14 December 2017 11:22 AM

I’ve always wondered why the founding fathers, who I’m sure were no idiots, were nevertheless so careless in their language on so important of a document. Why isn’t there a specific definition of militia, of arms, and so on. And why the tortured sentence structure.

A militia at the time was anyone with a weapon who would respond for a cry of help and all “arms” were mussel loaded with black powder.  They had no idea of the changes that would take place in 200 plus years any more than we know what will come in two centuries.

That is why as written, I no longer support the amendment.

Still, we may not know what may come in the future, but we would certainly try to make our best guess or at least put in general limits: By arms we mean single use weapons that a single person can use by carrying in their own arms unassisted to defend themselves, including possibly killing, one person at a time.

There I did it. Or if they meant anything else, they could have easily changed it to be along the lines of “including cannons, machine guns, bombs, etc.” (All of which in some primitive form existed at the time.)

I agree with all that, but IMO, the keyword that apparently is still taken as pertaining to the 18th century, is “well regulated”, which in my opinion should be applied to all arms especially when they can be carried in public as in the days of the “old west”.

It’s like saying the horse and buggy laws are still sufficiently apply to ownership of the modern automobile.  Fortunately these laws have been changed to registering and proof of age and competency in handling an automibile, including carrying insurance, in case of accidental damage to anything. Thus. IMO the laws written for days of old, should all be modified to account to modern day “upgrades” for possible accidental use of publicly carried weapons.

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Posted: 15 December 2017 01:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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CuthbertJ - 14 December 2017 11:22 AM

I’ve always wondered why the founding fathers, who I’m sure were no idiots, were nevertheless so careless in their language on so important of a document. Why isn’t there a specific definition of militia, of arms, and so on. And why the tortured sentence structure.

We do have saying that in time of war all men should come to the aid of their country, which implies that even the ordinary citizens may be called to join a well regulated militia.

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