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

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  •  How and Why We Have it... (5+ / 0-)

    How and why we have the 2nd Amendment is the next discussion, but why we don't have it is abundantly clear. The framers were NOT worried about the tyrannical federal government.

    Misuse of quotes won't change the fact that the Framers purposed to put in the constitution Article 1: Section 8 before they put in the Second Amendment.

    Nor do they alter the fact that the militia was used to quash the very type of rebellion you suggest the amendment was there to protect.

    Answer those questions if you want to have a real discussion. Simply cutting and pasting quotes doesn't prove anything.

    •  One of the problems for the other side in relying (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CwV, backell

      on the founding fathers, is that the particular writers they cite were not ALL of the founding fathers, and the opinions of this or that one did not necessarily carry the day. What carried the day is in the Constitution, and only there, as the result agreed after the deliberations of the famous ones who wrote down their opinions and less famous ones who did not but had equal voting power.

      The fact is that Article I, Sec. 8 contains BOTH a standing army and Federal supervision and control over state miitias, and refers specficially to militias able to be called up to suppress insurrection. It also calls for a permanent Navy, an issue also to be considered in connection with the two years at a time standing army. There was not in the final decision any decision made not to have any standing military forces ad to rely on state militias alone.

      •  Answer me this (0+ / 0-)

        what do you think the Bill of Rights were? For what purpose? I mean, if it all ended at the Constitution, why bother with the Bill of Rights?

        •  For Good Purpsoe (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Glen The Plumber, Sharon Wraight, CwV

          But why and how the Second Amendment was established, is moot for this discussion. We don't need to know why it was in order to know why it was NOT established. It's not binary.

          That will be, as I said in the diary, discussed next. For now though it's unneeded.

          You simply can't ignore these two questions.

          1. If their primary concern was tyranny, why did Article 1, Section 8 precede the 2nd Amendment?

          2. If the second amendment was set up so the militia could put down a tyrannical Federal government, why was it used, just a few years later, by the Federal government to quash an insurrection?

          These two things falsify the notion that it was there as a safeguard from tyranny. Why the 2nd Amendment (and the rest) were established is moot (in the real sense of the word, i.e. a worthy discussion, but not one needed to settle the present debate.)

    •  Those were the people we are talking about (0+ / 0-)

      talking about the issue we are talking about. I can't give you much more conclusive evidence than their own words, as they discussed it amongst themselves.

      The federalist papers weren't about a concern about a tyrannical government? You don't understand that the Bill of Rights are just that, an enumeration of basic human rights?

      Come on, you have got to be kidding me!

      Let's keep it real simple.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      In a paper later collected into the Anti-Federalist Papers, the pseudonymous "Brutus" (probably Robert Yates) wrote,

          We find they have, in the ninth section of the first article declared, that the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless in cases of rebellion — that no bill of attainder, or ex post facto law, shall be passed — that no title of nobility shall be granted by the United States, etc. If every thing which is not given is reserved, what propriety is there in these exceptions? Does this Constitution any where grant the power of suspending the habeas corpus, to make ex post facto laws, pass bills of attainder, or grant titles of nobility? It certainly does not in express terms. The only answer that can be given is, that these are implied in the general powers granted. With equal truth it may be said, that all the powers which the bills of rights guard against the abuse of, are contained or implied in the general ones granted by this Constitution.[23]

      Brutus continued with an implication directed against the Founding Fathers:

          Ought not a government, vested with such extensive and indefinite authority, to have been restricted by a declaration of rights? It certainly ought. So clear a point is this, that I cannot help suspecting that persons who attempt to persuade people that such reservations were less necessary under this Constitution than under those of the States, are wilfully endeavoring to deceive, and to lead you into an absolute state of vassalage.[

      •  The Anti-Federalists Weren't the Framers (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Glen The Plumber, tofumagoo, CwV

        And, no, the Federalist Papers WEREN'T a concern about a tyrannical government. They were a series of papers PROMOTING the RATIFICATION of the Constitution.

        Using the anti-Federalist papers to prove what the Federalist Papers said is disingenuous, no?

        This isn't an argument against the Bill of Rights, nor is it an argument against the 2nd Amendment. It is an argument that the 2nd Amendment wasn't invoked as a safeguard against tyranny.

        If so, why did they framers stand by while Washington ostensibly (by such definition) invoked such "tyranny" by USE of the militia?

        •  Are you really arguing (0+ / 0-)

          that the American Revolution was not fought against tyranny? Do you know what a "king" is?

          I'd like an honest answer to both of those questions.

          •  It was against Tyranny (5+ / 0-)

            So what? They deliberately set up a non-tyrannical government. The answer to tyranny wasn't the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution, it was the Constitution itself.

            •  They attempted (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Neuroptimalian

              to set up a non tyrannical government, but didn't feel to terribly confident that it would be.

              The Declaration of Independence was the answer to tyranny. The Bill of Rights was the safe guard against it.

              •  Way to skip over (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                CwV

                Everything in between. The Declaration of Independence was an entirely different document. You simply can't gloss over the entire revolution, the Articles of Confederation, the Philadelphia Convention and so on, and then jump to the Bill of Rights, and in particular, the 2nd Amendment.

                •  I'm not glossing over anything! (0+ / 0-)

                  In fact, I was distressed that you had failed to take into account the Declaration of Independence (and still obviously discount it) and consider the Bill of Rights a non binding list of fluff of no importance.

                  Madison for goods sake! The biggest Federalist around! He insisted on the Bill of Rights!

                  •  You're missing the point (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    congenitalefty

                    I'm not dismissing the Declaration of Independence as a document. I'm dismissing it's relevance to the Second Amendment as relating to a fear of tyranny being the purpose of it.

                    Yes, Madison insisted on the Bill of Rights. But he didn't insist on the 2nd Amendment because he was afraid of the Federal government coming and taking away his guns.

                    I am writing another Diary Entry which will address these arguments.

        •  The "framers" (0+ / 0-)

          were inclusive of both groups. Both groups were consulted, respected, and had input into the final product.

          Yates comes to mind of the top of my head. The "Brutus" quoted above, and also a signatory to the Constitution.

          There was overlap. It was a deliberative process. Anything less would have been tyranny.

          •  True (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CwV

            But as I said in the diary, "Third, and perhaps most importantly, they were no more of a single mind then they are today."

            I understand this and have said repeatedly that I will engage more on this in the next diary.

            However, the use of the militia to quash the very thing which the right purports that the second amendment was there to promote proves it's not there for that reason.

            •  So you think (0+ / 0-)

              they were all just kidding around about that government getting out of hand thing?

              They really didn't think that the government's powers should be enumerated so that it would be limited?

              You think they planted all those letters and documents surrounding the founding in order to fool us and set up an indestructible government with no remedy for the citizens?

              You think they were arrogant enough to think they had created a perfect system that in no way would become obsolete?

              •  No. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                congenitalefty

                I think that they addressed those things in drafting the Constitution. Do you think that the only place where they WEREN'T kidding around was the Second Amendment?

                You're OVER EMPHASIZING the importance of that "fear" and UNDERSTATING the other actions that were put in place to allay them.

                •  I think they were deadly serious (0+ / 0-)

                  about the whole document, including the Bill of Rights. And when I say deadly, I mean literally. These guys shot AT each other, for God's sake.

                  These people had just overthrown the most powerful government on the planet at the time. They were very serious people.

                  I tend to believe they meant what they said.

    •  checks and balances (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annecros

      the whole point of which being that no power is absolute.

      The framers were NOT worried about the tyrannical federal government.
      The antifederalists were.  You know, the people who convinced the federalists to add a bill of rights?
      Misuse of quotes won't change the fact that the Framers purposed to put in the constitution Article 1: Section 8 before they put in the Second Amendment.
      And the second amendment was added precisely because of concern that Congress might misuse the powers of Sections 8 and 9 to disarm the general public.  Thus, an amendment to prevent that.
      Nor do they alter the fact that the militia was used to quash the very type of rebellion you suggest the amendment was there to protect.
      Strawman argument.

      The second amendment does not protect armed uprisings, but it was intended to protect the right to own the hardware necessary for an armed uprising.  

      It was obviously never intended to guarantee that any such attempt would automatically succeed (otherwise, anarchy) nor was it intended to protect the instigators of unjustified violence from due punishment for any murders they might commit.

      the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

      by happymisanthropy on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 01:30:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  As I said Before (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Glen The Plumber, CwV, congenitalefty

        The how and why of the Second Amendment being added will be addressed next.

        And sorry, simply calling it a strawman argument does not make it one. If your argument is to somehow parse between an insurrection and a civilian populace rising up against a tyrant then THAT'S the strawman.

        What distinguishes the two? Who determines when it's merely an uprising and/or insurrection and a rebellion against a tyrant? It's all in the mind of the upheavers isn't it?

        •  That would be (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          happymisanthropy

          the people. As in "We the..."

        •  You do not have a right to shoot people. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          annecros

          You do have a right to own guns.
          If you can't see the difference between "owning a tool that will allow you to shoot someone," and "shooting someone," there's probably no point in having a conversation.

          Ditto, the difference between "owning the tools that would allow some chance of the overthrow of an unconstitutional regime (however improbable that might be)" is not the same as "overthrowing the government Wednesday night because you were bored."

          If you have the right to do something, you have the right to do it Wednesday night because you were bored.  Nobody says there's a legal right to overthrow the government.

          The how and why of the Second Amendment being added will be addressed next.
          Good, maybe Thom Hartmann will put down the crack pipe and learn something.  What the fuck is a supposed Thomas Jefferson fan doing ranting against the second amendment?
          If your argument is to somehow parse between an insurrection and a civilian populace rising up against a tyrant then THAT'S the strawman.
          No, I'm parsing the difference between owning a gun and shooting people with the gun.  The first part is a right, the second part is not a right.
          What distinguishes the two? Who determines when it's merely an uprising and/or insurrection and a rebellion against a tyrant? It's all in the mind of the upheavers isn't it?
          You made it up, why should I have to explain it to you?

          the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

          by happymisanthropy on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 02:04:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Talk about strawmen (0+ / 0-)

            Who said anything about having or not having a right to own guns? See that's the problem with this debate. Too many people think it's a choice between absolute gun rights or no guns at all.

            This isn't a discussion about WHETHER the 2nd Amendment exists but WHY it exists.

            And yes, as obtuse as you're being about it you ARE parsing the difference between an uprising and rising up against tyranny.

            The second amendment does not protect armed uprisings, but it was intended to protect the right to own the hardware necessary for an armed uprising.
            This is nonsense. You're equivocating the difference between having the weapons IN ORDER to have an uprising and the uprising itself? That's like saying that the freedom of speech is about the right to have a mouth but not say anything IF IT means that it's the right to turn against a tyranny.

            And no, I didn't "make it up." You did when you started parsing when you said, "we the people" get to determine it. Were they people in the Whiskey Rebellion?

            Was Timothy Mcveigh a perosn?

            That's the issue. When you say it's about the right of the people to rise against tyranny you advocate anarchy, and even I'm not that liberal.

            •  Your getting the people you are screaming (0+ / 0-)

              at confused.

              Simmer down.

              If you think people rising against tyranny is anarchy, I suppose that would be tyrannical?

              •  Screaming? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                congenitalefty

                I'm not screaming, I'm discussing. Just because you're reading it as screaming doesn't mean I'm screaming.

                Ergo, no simmering is needed.

                I think that suggesting that anyone, at anytime, can revolt against what they view as tyranny is anarchy, yes. What would you say is the difference?

                People forget this is a democratically elected government. The "people" speak on election day.

            •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
              Who said anything about having or not having a right to own guns? See that's the problem with this debate. Too many people think it's a choice between absolute gun rights or no guns at all.
              Non-responsive.
              This isn't a discussion about WHETHER the 2nd Amendment exists but WHY it exists.
              yet if you don't like the answer, you pretend it's something else.
              And yes, as obtuse as you're being about it you ARE parsing the difference between an uprising and rising up against tyranny.
              Show me where I did that.  Take as much time as you need.
              This is nonsense. You're equivocating the difference between having the weapons IN ORDER to have an uprising and the uprising itself? That's like saying that the freedom of speech is about the right to have a mouth but not say anything IF IT means that it's the right to turn against a tyranny.
              18 USC § 2385 - Advocating overthrow of Government

              Your absurd case is darn close to reality.  I can own a megaphone, but I can't use it to advocate the violent overthrow of the US government.  

              Let's talk, for example, emergency rescue radio beacons.
              The whole point of the thing is to set out a signal to let rescuers know where you are and that you need help.

              Do I have a right to own such a device? YES, it's a form of speech that falls under the first amendment, particularly because it's necessary for survival.

              Do I have a right to use such a device whenever I feel like it?  NO.  Summoning the coast guard and police to respond to a false emergency does not have protection under the first amendment.

              So yes, I certainly can separate a right to own a tool and the supposed right to use that tool, even if the tool has only one use.

              And no, I didn't "make it up." You did when you started parsing when you said, "we the people" get to determine it. Were they people in the Whiskey Rebellion?
              That wasn't me.  I think that was Anne.
              Was Timothy Mcveigh a perosn?
              I emphatically deny that anyone has a right to take up arms against our government.  Or, in other words, I affirm that governments have the just power to crack down on people trying to overthrow them.
              That's the issue. When you say it's about the right of the people to rise against tyranny you advocate anarchy, and even I'm not that liberal.
              But I didn't say that.  If there is a right to actively pursue, or even speak in favor of, the violent or nonviolent overthrow of governments, tyrannical or otherwise... it's not in the first or second amendments, or anywhere else in US law.

              the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

              by happymisanthropy on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 07:16:54 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You emphatically deny it (0+ / 0-)

                But then you openly advocate it WHEN YOU SUPPORT the notion that the 2nd Amendment is to safeguard against tyranny.

                My absurd case is intentionally absurd because it illustrates the absurdity of your own position.

                You can keep SAYING there's a difference, but logically there's not. You can't say that it's OK to arm yourself against the government, but not do anything else. It's preposterous.

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