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  •  Not based on history (4+ / 0-)
    The phrase "well-regulated" was in common use long before 1789, and remained so for a century thereafter. It referred to the property of something being in proper working order. Something that was well-regulated was calibrated correctly, functioning as expected.

    In fact the history would suggest the idea was to have armed citizenry that was not under national command, so that there was an independent armed force that would prevent the national army from forcibly taking control.

    " can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem." Mitt Romney

    by Catte Nappe on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 03:09:09 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  A well-regulated militia, not a well-regulated gun (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NonnyO, sunny skies, eztempo, smokey545

      It means well-trained, disciplined, and officially organized.

      The militia, not the damn gun.

      "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

      by GrumpyOldGeek on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 03:24:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But not "national" guard (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eztempo, NonnyO, smokey545

        "State" regulated, or individually (volunteer) regulated.

        " can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem." Mitt Romney

        by Catte Nappe on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 03:27:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry, but you continue (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GrumpyOldGeek, NonnyO, tikkun, smokey545

          to be wrong in what appears to be a self-serving way.

          There is no provenance or jurisdiction implied one way or the other. Only that it be well-regulated. How to regulate properly, and by whom... well, since it is the constitution of these united states, and the very crux of our unity is the federal government, why not let the federal government do it?

          The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

          by RedDan on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 03:32:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Because at the time it was written (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            eztempo, NonnyO, smokey545

            There was substantial concern about the amount of power a federal entity would have over states and individual citizens, everyone of the time having recent memory and life experience of tyrrany at the national level.

            As to self serving - just what selfish interestes do you presume I "serve"?

            " can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem." Mitt Romney

            by Catte Nappe on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 03:38:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Did you have colonial New England ancestors? (6+ / 0-)

          I did, in both my maternal and paternal lineages, going back to the Mayflower.  There were not that many people left when spring arrived after the Mayflower landed.  Half of them died over the winter.

          ATBA lists are common sources of info for genealogists, as are town/community militia lists.

          ATBA = Able To Bear Arms.

          Once the houses and living areas were built, they had little local community militias who would be responsible for patrolling an enclosed area around the homes.

          Or, in the case of King Philip's War, the community militia for Marshfield, MA was sent to RI to help fight in that war.  My ancestor came back from the Great Swamp Fight and thereafter "suffered bouts of temporary insanity" as a result of what he endured at that battle.  It was probably a blessing he died fairly young.  His widow went on to marry two more times, she had children by all three men, and outlived all three husbands.  That was on my maternal line.

          In my paternal line the second son of one of my ancestors was executed for treason in RI because he was accused of firing on the settlers (the eldest son was the one in my direct line).  The second son had married a Native American and they had one child.  Their father was out looking for Son #2 when he was shot by the Indians and beheaded, and there his body lay for a while.  All of those little communities in RI where the Great Swamp Fight took place had community militias.  This was in the late 1600s, long before the Revolutionary War, independence, and statehood.

          By the time the Revolutionary War came along, there was still no standing army, enlisting was voluntary (they had promises of land if they won the war), the enlistees brought their own guns and ammo (some had none, but brought rakes or swords or other versions of weapons).

          Local community militias eventually became regional or state militias, and on down the historical timeline they became National Guard units under the direction of governors..., except in cases of real war when they could be called out for service.  Much later still, genealogists use the WWI and WWII Draft Registration cards as part of their records for any male ancestors who had fulfilled their responsibilities and filled out the draft forms.

          But when the Second Amendment was written, there was still no standing army, and if any of the men were called up, they were expected to bring their own gun(s), ammo, or whatever other weapons they had.

          Whatever modern revisionist spin is spun on 'militias' now, back then they only had community militias with men who were on ATBA lists..., then voluntary enlisted men who had their own weapons fought the Revolutionary War....  Then the Constitution and Bill of Rights were written....

          Because I only recently found images of the 29 pieces of paper in one of my ancestors' Revolutionary War pension file from when he broke his thigh bone and shoulder blade and applied for assistance, and he listed the various battles he was in (through two enlistments, total of six years), I looked up some educational shows for the period (I was in high school 50 years ago, forgot much).  Here's the short version on educational films (conditions for the continental army are more fully explained in them):

          The Revolution

          The HistoryFeed didn't post [or deleted] the first video from the series.  Someone else put it online in three parts.  This link gets you the second through thirteenth videos in chronological order on a playlist..., or click each link below in chronological order.

          01 The Revolution- Boston, Bloody Boston
          1 TheRevolutionBostonBloodyBoston.m4v

          2 Boston Bloody Boston pt. 2.m4v

          3 Boston Bloody Boston pt 3.m4v

          02 The Revolution- Rebelling To Revolution

          03 The Revolution- Declaring Independence

          04 The Revolution- American Crisis

          05 The Revolution- Path To World War

          06 The Revolution- Forging An Army

          07 The Revolution- Treason & Betrayal

          08 The Revolution- The War Heads South

          09 The Revolution- Hornet's Nest

          10 The Revolution- The End Game

          11 The Revolution- Becoming A Nation

          12 The Revolution- Road To The Presidency

          13 The Revolution- A President and His Revolution


          PBS:  Liberty!

          PBS:  Timeline of the Revolution [part of the Liberty! web site]

          The Documentary Site [on YouTube] has put Liberty! online.

          Liberty: The American Revolution - Episode 1 of 6 - The Reluctant Revolutionaries

          Liberty: The American Revolution - Episode 2 of 6 - Blows Must Decide

          Liberty: The American Revolution - Episode 3 of 6 - The Times That Try Men's Souls

          Liberty: The American Revolution - Episode 4 of 6 - Oh Fatal Ambition

          Liberty: The American Revolution - Episode 5 of 6 - The World Turned Upside Down

          Liberty: The American Revolution - Episode 6 of 6 - Are We to be a Nation

          I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

          by NonnyO on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 04:06:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I, too, have many, many, ancestors of those times (1+ / 0-)
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            The person who tells us that we don't understand what times were like in those days is simply making shit up to advance an imaginary agenda that claims that the 2nd amendment is to permit insurrection and treason by individual citizens.

            Yes, it's totally absurd. Yes, the ignorance of actual history is evident.

            But our stupid Supreme Court decided to twist the original and, to me, obvious intent into just that. Even though the militia provides resources that the governors and the president can activate to serve under the commander in chief, the facts and the history don't seem to matter to those with a different agenda.

            The nonsense about tyranny is outlined in the Declaration of Independence. The right for a militia to keep and bear arms is specified in the US Constitution as the 2nd Amendment. Our government is not based on anything in the Declaration, essentially a lengthy complaint letter written to the King of England. That tyrant.

            The local militia was the police department, the fire and rescue brigade, and the volunteers to search for lost children among other things. In case of an organized attack, Native Americans being the predominant threat, the militia was trained as an organized company of volunteers. They were sometimes activated to fight larger battles. The French and Indian war is a perfect example.

            People forget that the militias were originally subordinate to the command of the British government. It was the British who required that towns establish local militias. And churches. And meeting houses. And schools.

            Thanks for your excellent summary of resources that describe the reality of that period in history.

            "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

            by GrumpyOldGeek on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 06:18:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  'Zaktly...! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              The little local militias were many things, not just organized for "war" - whatever that meant with only 50 settlers until the next ship came ashore with a hundred or so passengers.  No doubt the first able-bodied men to survive that first winter dug a lot of graves, as well.

              Once one reads either the original documents or the transcriptions long enough through the years, the average to good genealogy researcher understands just that: the local militias were kind of the 'jack of all trades' when it came to 'protecting' their little community.

              Once a person has spent half a century researching one's family, including two colonial New England main lines and innumerable trunks and branches, reading the wording in original documents..., well, one just sort of gets a feel for what any underlying meaning might be..., or not.  Insurrection and treason were far from anyone's mind before the Stamp Act.  They all considered themselves good English citizens!  Many were reluctant revolutionaries..., and in one case, one family of my ancestors became Loyalists and went to Canada (the other branches served in the Rev. War).

              As I indicated, the "short version" of American history for the Revolutionary War period is found in those educational series which quote the people who lived through all of it.  It's not the sum total of the history for that era, but it hits the highlights.  [High school American history 101, freshman year.  Or don't kids get taught about that period any longer?  I have a vague recollection of hearing some of this stuff in grade school 55-60 years ago, and I know I had at least two or three years of American history in high school, too.]

              I just wish the willfully ignorant who refuse to learn the truth would tune in to hear just a tad bit of it instead of learning their "history" from the likes of Rushie McLimpDick or Bill O'Lielly.

              I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

              by NonnyO on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 06:59:15 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  The 2nd is purposefully vague (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          smokey545, GrumpyOldGeek

          My recollection of research done a few years ago is that the 2nd Amendment was as much about appeasing local and regional power brokers that relished their roles as civic militia leaders -- often merchant/businessmen -- that were suspicious of, one, there being a standing national army at all, and two, didn't want their local celebrity and political role as muckity-mucks usurped by epaulette-wearing outsiders.

          Also, many of these militia leaders found it necessary to require by law that local men purchase and maintain muskets or rifles.  In the day, the weapons were a significant expense for a farmer that didn't always see the need to lay his own money out for such things.  The 2nd Amendment was designed to assuage these leaders that the new Federal government wasn't going to mess with their local arrangements, is my impression of what I was reading about the history of the Amendment's origin & wording.

          •  Yes. Another hot button was the armories (1+ / 0-)
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            and the powder houses. The militia in larger settlements stored their rifles in an armory and their powder in safe, dry, powder houses. It was the intent of the British to confiscate the armory and the powder in Lexington that was the reason that the local militia fought back against the British soldiers.

            That was the original intent. The local militia insisted on the right to keep and bear arms. The resistance to a standing army is all about the threat that a federal militia might attempt to neuter the local militias. Just like the British tried to do.

            So there was to be no standing army, but the mechanism to call up the militias when there was a national need was provided.

            Careless and "loud or obnoxious" individuals were to be ineligible or expelled from the local militias. Their rifles were subject to confiscation. That's outlined in the Vermont Constitution, iirc.

            "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

            by GrumpyOldGeek on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 06:30:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  That page's author (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NonnyO, eztempo, smokey545

      is asserting an interpretation of a phrase with little or no evidence... and what evidence there is actually seems to contradict the author of that page.

      In at least 3 of the examples, "well-regulated" means exactly what it says: "properly controlled" and "intentionally organized and managed" and "governed by reason"

      Simple stuff.

      The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

      by RedDan on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 03:30:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Heller is the law. Any additional interpretation (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eztempo, smokey545

      would have to come in a subsequent case.  Therefore, Scalia's opinion is the important one.

      It's been litigated, folks. If you want to change it, bring on a new case.

      •  Scalia (SCOTUS) only cares about 1/2 the amendment (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It's my distinct impression that the individual right finally elaborated by this Court pretty much ignored the "preamble" to the 2nd Amendment.  This is a recent innovation of the SCOTUS, and makes me think it's time for a simple revocation of the Amendment.  The thing's been perverted from it's founding application to such an extent that it has no relevance to today's civic well being.

        I saw a simple proposed phrase here on D-Kos earlier that I can't find now that demonstrates that no new gun control legislation is required to open the possibility for reasonable, locally relevant regulations to be passed by states and localities. it was something to the effect of:

        The second article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.
        ...and then let the real debate over rational regulation of weaponry proceed.
        •  I've read it. You should too. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Scalia addressed it all. It is quite a lengthy opinion but well worth the time to read it along with the dissenting opinion by Stevens and joined by Souter, Ginsburg and Breyer is also worth the time.

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