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View Diary: To those who want an armed society. (277 comments)

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  •  I generally give conservative think tanks like (1+ / 0-)
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    The Constitution Society (, and the writings that appear thereon and are disseminated thereby, the consideration and deference they deserve. Make of that what you will.

    •  Ha! So, when presented with evidence (1+ / 0-)
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      your definition of "bear" is both legally and historically wrong, you dismiss it as "conservative"?

      What dishonest tripe!

      -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

      by gerrilea on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 03:16:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I said I gave your source its due consideration. (1+ / 0-)
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        Glen The Plumber

        Everything else, you made up.

      •  Start here. (0+ / 0-)

        A Dictionary of the English Language, 1792 edition

        To BEAR. v. a.pret. I bore, or bared

        1. To carry as a burden.
        2. To convey or carry.
        3. To carry as a mark of authority.
        4. To carry as a mark of distinction.
        5. To carry as in show.
        6. To carry as in trust.
        7. To support ; to keep from falling.
        8. To keep afloat.
        9. To support with proportionate strength.
        10. To carry in the mind as love, hate.
        11. To endure, as pain, without sinking.
        12. To suffer to undergo.
        13. To permit.
        14. To be capable of ; to admit.
        15. To produce, as fruit.
        16. To bring forth, as a child.
        17. To possess, as power or honour.
        18. To gain ; to win.
        19. To maintain ; to keep up.
        20. To support any thing good or bad.
        21. To exhibit.
        22. To be answerable for.
        23. To supply.
        24. To be the object of.
        25. To behave.
        26. To impel ; to urge ; to push.
        27. To press.
        28. To incite ; to animate.
        29. To bear in hand. To amuse with false pretences; to deceive.
        30. To bear off. To carry away by force.
        31. To bear out To support; to maintain.

        To BEAR. v. n.

        1. To suffer pain.
        2. To be patient.
        3. To be fruitful or prolifick.
        4. To take effect ; to succeed.
        5. To tend ; to be directed to any point.
        6. To act as an impellent.
        7. To act upon.
        8. To be situated with respect to other places.
        9. To bear up. To stand firm without falling.
        10. To bear with To endure an unpleasing thing.

        I don't see "to wage war" or anything resembling same anywhere in there.

        Find me an 18th-century English dictionary or other contemporaneous primary source that includes "to wage war" in the definition of the verb "to bear", and I'll gladly concede your point.

        Thank you and have a nice evening.

        •  Here: (1+ / 0-)
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          theatre goon

          Second Amendment to the United States Constitution

          Meaning of "keep and bear arms"

          The phrase “bear Arms” also had at the time of the founding an idiomatic meaning that was significantly different from its natural meaning: “to serve as a soldier, do military service, fight” or “to wage war.”

          We have a difference of opinion here, "to bear" meaning: to carry and "to bear" meaning: to use.

          I will concede that it may be just "to own and carry"....but I find that a bit awkward given the actual history of this nation.

          It's like saying: "You can have a free press but you can't actually print anything."


          "You can own and carry arms but you can't use them."

          It makes no sense to me whatsoever.

          -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

          by gerrilea on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 04:35:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  An 18th century English dictionary is a (0+ / 0-)

            primary source. Wikipedia is a secondary source at best, and more generally a tertiary source. It is not authoritative. Primary sources are authoritative.

            In addition, the blockquote you cited here from the Wikipedia page is actually a quotation from the Heller decision, which is itself a secondary source vis-à-vis the meaning of words in 1789.  And the blockquote omits what immediately followed in the text of the decision:

            But it unequivocally bore that idiomatic meaning only when followed by the preposition “against,”. Every example given by petitioners’ amici for the idiomatic meaning of “bear arms” from the founding period either includes the preposition “against” or is not clearly idiomatic.
            D.C. v. Heller,  128 S. Ct. 2783,  2794 (2008) (Scalia, J.)

            In other words, Justice Scalia is not saying that the verb "to bear" meant, in the 18th century, "to wage war." Neither is he saying that the phrase "to bear arms" meant "to wage war." He is saying that the phrase "to bear arms against [someone or something]" was an idiom that meant "to wage war". That is a far, far cry from your original claim, which has now been thoroughly discredited.

            You stated that the verb "to bear" -- not the phrase "to bear arms", let alone "to bear arms against" -- meant "to wage war," not "to own, carry, hold or possess." You have provided no authoritative evidence, indeed no evidence whatsoever, to support that statement. You have now, when presented with actual evidence, authoritative evidence of the actual contemporaneous meaning and usage of the verb "to bear" -- which the evidence shows is precisely what I said it is -- backed off of that original statement by, inter alia, pretending that our "disagreement" is instead over whether "to bear" means "to carry" or "to use."

            I think an apology for being smug and obnoxious whilst entirely wrong is in order, before we proceed any further.

            •  A pointless mistake on my part. (1+ / 0-)
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              theatre goon

              "to keep and bear"....ARMS....I didn't know the high school game being played here required I complete that which was obvious.  "to keep...arms"  AND "to bear....arms".

              That was the context I was actually thinking and defending and was an assumption on my part.

              That said:

              Do you agree or disagree, when I substitute your definition of "to bear" into "to carry", it would then negate the entire premise of the amendment itself?

              As I've shown:

              "You can keep and carry arms."  

              And since this new statement says nothing about actually "using" then it could mean exactly that we cannot ever use them but only keep and carry them.

              Either we have a protected right to use force or we don't.  

              Either we can wage war or we can't.

              I did present evidence, you declined to accept it.

              Here ya go:


              noun versus verb:

              verb (used without object)
              to enter into a state of hostility or of readiness for war.
              In any analysis, the final part of said amendment does unequivocally state:

              "Shall Not Be Infringed"

              Making our debate truly moot.


              To keep and carry vs. to keep and use/wage war

              Either one: shall not be infringed.

              -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

              by gerrilea on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 06:04:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  This is not an apology: (1+ / 0-)
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                I didn't know the high school game being played here required I complete that which was obvious.
                Simply saying what you actually mean will suffice. When you say things that are untrue or wrong, expect to be challenged. When you are proven wrong, as you have been here, be magnanimous, accept it and learn from it rather than passive-aggressively deflecting blame.

                You did not present evidence, and here you continue to present "evidence" that is not evidence, that neither says nor means nor proves what you think it does.

                The blockquote cited here from the page you linked is a definition of the verb "to arm," not the verb "to bear," and not the phrase "to bear arms." It is also a modern definition, not a contemporaneous 18th-century definition. Moreover, that very page which you linked, but I am compelled to wonder if you actually read, in fact does define the idiom "bear arms," thusly:

                a. to carry weapons.
                b. to serve as a member of the military or of contending forces[.]
                Not only is your "evidence" not evidence, it says, means and proves the precise opposite of what you claimed. You cannot expect me or anyone else to simply accept "evidence" which you yourself have not bothered to examine with any degree of care or diligence.

                Further, I never claimed or implied, anywhere, that "no one can ever use a firearm." You made that up as well. What I did say, and explained in great detail, was that the "right to keep and bear arms" is a property interest, not a liberty interest. In order to understand this, you would first have to understand the nature of property rights. What is of critical importance here is that regardless of whether "to bear" means "to carry" or "to use," use is a property interest as well.

                Property rights have been described by many scholars as a "bundle" of rights, which apply to real estate, chattels (personal property), and intellectual property (works of authorship); different property types have different bundles of rights, and which specific rights apply depend on many things, including whether the property is owned by the bearer or merely lawfully possessed (as in a leasehold estate or bailment).

                Property rights with respect to chattels include inter alia the right to physically possess the chattel, to transport it, sell it, give it away, convert it, alter it, use it, exclude others from using it, and destroy it. The right to use a chattel is one of the property rights that the owner/possessor has in that chattel. And a gun is, indisputably, a chattel. Accordingly, to say that "the right to keep and bear arms is a property right" is not to say that "the right to keep and bear arms does not include the right to use arms," because use is a property right.

                As magnanimity escapes you, I believe we're through. Goodnight.

                •  Lecturing me on what you want me to do? (1+ / 0-)
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                  theatre goon

                  You can't be serious.  Wow.

                  "to bear arms" is not a property right, it is an act. We have the preexisting right to act with our arms that we possess.

                  There are two parts of this amendment, "to keep" or possess or own and then "to bear"....arms...

                  You are correct on the first part but not the second.  You cannot rewrite settled law here.  We've always had the right to use wage war... be it for self defense or defense of others or for defense of our Nation/State...that "use of force" is only restricted to lawful purposes...note I do not say "legal" purposes.

                  Your argument that this right is exclusively a property right is null and void:

                  The Ratification Documents:


                    "A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; but no person religiously scrupulous shall be compelled to bear arms".

                      This declaration of rights, I take it, is intended to secure the people against the mal-administration of the Government; if we could suppose that, in all cases, the rights of the people would be attended to, the occasion for guards of this kind would be removed. Now, I am apprehensive, sir, that this clause would give an opportunity to the people in power to destroy the constitution itself. They can declare who are those religiously scrupulous, and prevent them from bearing arms."

                  As I outlined in the diary above, "to bear arms" wasn't just to mean "to carry" but to use arms to kill others with or to wage war.

                  If this concept is foreign to you, might I suggest you read that very well documented diary I wrote quite a long time ago.  The original version of the 2nd A was modified to omit the final phrase of protecting religious people like the Quakers whom will not wage war.  For the reasons Mr. Gerry outlined in the quoted section above.

                  The concept of others "bearing arms" in place of those religiously scrupulous was also discussed and debated:

                  19th. That any person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms ought to be exempted upon payment of an equivalent to employ another to bear arms in his stead.
                  See how this works???

                  To Keep and Bear Arms was to protect liberty, both individually and collectively and our very First Congress understood this all too well.

                  -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                  by gerrilea on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 08:43:43 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You cannot "prove" with secondary and tertiary (1+ / 0-)
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                    sources that which is disproven by primary sources. That is especially true when every secondary/tertiary sorce you've cited so far, when examined with even a modicum of scrutiny and diligence, demonstrates the precise opposite of what you are claiming.

                    "to bear arms" is not a property right, it is an act.
                    That makes no sense whatsoever. Your difficulty with English grammar and syntax is second only to your difficulty with sourcing. The "right to bear arms" is a property right. "To bear arms" is to exercise that right.

                    You've provided absolutely no authoritative, primary-source evidence whatsoever that the phrase "to bear arms" means anything other than "to carry weapons" or "to be a member of the military," now or in the 18th century. There is no "act" contained in the meaning of that phrase, no matter what the various right-wing think tanks upon which you apparently rely exclusively for everything you "know" are telling you, no matter how much the NRA and the gun industry are  paying them to tell you. Simple English grammar and syntax prove otherwise.

                    I know how much you despise pointing out that which should be obvious, but murder is an "act." So is robbery. So are assault, vandalism and extortion.  Surely you do not have a "right" to "use" your "arms" to commit murder, robbery, assault, vandalism or extortion. Of course not, and of course you did not mean to suggest otherwise. You did use the phrase "lawful purposes," but (1) the phrase "lawful purposes" does not appear in the text of the Second Amendment, and (2) the Second Amendment does not enumerate what those "lawful purposes" are, nor specify which "acts" (let alone "purposes") are "lawful" and which are not. In other words, the text of the Second Amendment does not by its terms provide a "right" to any particular "act," except to carry weapons or to be a member of the military.

                    Moreover, even if we stipulate that "to bear arms" means "to act using arms" -- which again, you have failed to prove -- then the phrase "shall not be infringed" is negated by the concept of "lawful purposes." The latter is a qualifier that limits the former. What you end up with is, "shall not be infringed, so long as those arms are borne and used for lawful purposes."

                    Which, indeed, is perfectly reasonable; the law has always picked up where the text of the Constitution leaves off. That's what the law does; that's its purpose. The Constitution doesn't tell us what those "lawful purposes" are, so the law fills in the blanks. Whether the law gets it right, is a separate argument.

                    Any "right" that exists to commit any "act" (other than "to carry weapons" or "to be a member of the military") does not derive from the text of Second Amendment. Whether such "rights" exist or not, and what they are, is not the point. The Second Amendment provides only for property rights in "arms." Anything more than that has been added to it and grafted onto it by the law, and by interested parties.

                    I'd like to continue, as this is actually quite interesting, but based on your comments I rather doubt you've actually read anything I've written here, and I am thus wasting my time.  Hence I'll finish here and allow you the last word, if you like.


                    •  Word salad...I've read what you've claimed (0+ / 0-)

                      I do not agree with your semantics.

                      If "to bear arms" didn't mean "to wage war", why did our First Congress debate that specific point?  That is a primary shows their intent and what they believed "to bear arms" actually meant in the context used.

                      As for the red herring about "stealing, assault, vandalism", etc...that's all it is...misdirection.  The difference you fail to accept here is "lawful" vs "legal".  Lawful would be what the citizens understand and believe.  Legal would be the acts of our representatives.  The two different meanings do battle in our courts when juries are made to understand the actual authority they have.  As in the case of the "pot guy" in New Jersey being acquitted of drug charges.  I'm sure you've heard of the concept of "jury nullification".  This is where, We The People, have the ultimate authority to decide what is lawful or not.  I do recall a DA in the midwest couldn't get grand juries to indict their fellow citizens for drug charges, for years, those citizens understood their ultimate power to deny arbitrary "legal" definitions.

                      I do not believe any jury would acquit me if I used a weapon to assault, murder, steal or vandalize a neighbor.  I would be "waging war" that was not lawful.

                      So that you can understand the difference. Here's another example, a father in Texas beat to death a man raping his 4 yr old daughter, he was never charged by a grand jury for the murder, hence his act of war, was lawful.  And in this instance, he used his bare hands as "arms".

                      What you authoritarian anti-rights activists are attempting to do here is move the goal posts to restrict the 2nd A to what you want it to mean.  And then to move public policy to such an extreme point that it means the opposite from what our common law system has already established.  This is what you wish, in a nutshell:

                      "You can only "keep and carry arms", but you can never use them.  

                      And you never read what I actually wrote.  Why did our First Congress debate, "to bear arms in their stead"???

                      If they weren't talking about "waging war"???  The Quakers do "bear arms" as in wearing them, they do kill livestock as needed but the will not "bear arms" in war.

                      As for the unusual theory that the 2nd A grants me the right to be part of the militia, I find that unsupported in any of the historical documents I've ever read anywhere.

                      The constitution does not grant us anything, it does grant our creation limited authorities.

                      As for your "purpose of the law", might I suggest this most excellent interview, so that you can expand on your understandings of what the law has become, despite your naive beliefs?

                      "Noam Chomsky and Glenn Greenwald on how the law is used to destroy equity and protect the powerful"

                      -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                      by gerrilea on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 09:33:11 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

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