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View Diary: The Second Amendment was Ratified to Preserve Slavery (294 comments)

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  •  Actually, the only thing it proves (0+ / 0-)

    is that the Constitutional formulation was the only one acceptable to the various state delegations. Hardly expressive of any "collective intent" on the part of the framers beyond finding something a majority could sign on to.

    Nothing human is alien to me.

    by WB Reeves on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 11:43:26 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Of course it expresses a collective intent. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WB Reeves

      It expressly the collective intent that those words, and no others, be in the constitution.

      I don't think the words are ambiguous, but to the extent one does, the fact that people of the time knew who words like defense and own rules out that the second amendment was meant for those items.  They could have ratified an amendment giveing a right to own guns.  They most certainly didn't.

      That's not even "gun control". It's more like "massacre control".

      by Inland on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 10:35:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  By the same token (0+ / 0-)

        If they had meant that only state governments could "keep" arms they could said that as well. Likewise, if they had meant that only the militia could "bear" arms they would have said that. This amendment, like much of the Constitution, was written so that it would open to interpretation.

        The fact is that the amendment, despite its reference to a "well regulated militia" vests the right "to keep and bear arms" not in the militia or any other government authority but in "the people." Does that mean "the people" as a collective whole or as individuals?

        The amendment's wording provides no answer on this crucial point, regardless of how much partisans on either side would like to pretend otherwise. Such ambiguity is, in fact, an example of the genius of the Constitution. It provides the flexibility that allows succeeding generations to determine how best to apply that document to changing circumstances.

        The Constitution was never designed to be sacred and immutable scripture.

        Nothing human is alien to me.

        by WB Reeves on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 02:06:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It did not speak at all to the states (0+ / 0-)

          power to restrict arms.  How do we know that? Because there's nothing in the words.

          This isn't interpretation. It's reading.

          That's not even "gun control". It's more like "massacre control".

          by Inland on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 11:13:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes it is reading (0+ / 0-)

            and while the amendment vests the right "to keep and bear arms" in the "people", it doesn't specify whether it is a collective or individual right.

            Closing one's eyes to this intentional ambiguity simply insures that the discussion will remain mired in a sterile, quasi-theological squabble over the "original intent" of the framers. As if they were prophets that could foresee a world of machine guns and assault weapons.

            The framers had no such exalted opinion of themselves.  

            Nothing human is alien to me.

            by WB Reeves on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 11:41:10 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It wouldn't have come up. (0+ / 0-)

              Because the states were left with the decision on who should be armed and how as part of a well regulated militia.  

              As far as an individual right to own a gun goes, there isn't one in the federal constitution.  

              That's not ambiguous.

              That's not even "gun control". It's more like "massacre control".

              by Inland on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 01:35:43 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Hardly unambiguous (0+ / 0-)

                As you yourself pointed out, the Amendment makes no mention of the States at all. It says that this is a right vested in "the people" without further explication.

                By your own logic, if they had meant to vest that authority in the States they would have said so. They didn't. In fact, they explicitly chose not to. Just as they invoked the authority of "the people" rather than that of "the States"
                in the preamble.

                Your assertions aren't borne out by the text.

                Nothing human is alien to me.

                by WB Reeves on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 02:02:45 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

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