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Most Americans do not know of or have ever been taught what the majority of the original 13 States said and did when they actually ratified our current Constitution. Let me introduce you to these seldom discussed or known documents. Collectively they are called the "Ratification Documents". Statements, clarifications, understandings and/or instructions included with their acceptance of our Constitution.

RKBA is a DKos group of second amendment supporters who also have progressive and liberal values. We don't think that being a liberal means one has to be anti-gun. Some of us are extreme in our second amendment views (no licensing, no restrictions on small arms) and some of us are more moderate (licensing, restrictions on small arms.) Moderate or extreme, we hold one common belief: more gun control equals lost elections. We don't want a repeat of 1994. We are an inclusive group: if you see the Second Amendment as safeguarding our right to keep and bear arms individually, then come join us in our conversation. If you are against the right to keep and bear arms, come join our conversation. We look forward to seeing you, as long as you engage in a civil discussion. RKBA stands for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

________________________________________________________________________

The most progressive documents ever created by Man are The Declaration of Independence and our Constitution: when a group of people declared in one voice that man was the arbiter of his own destiny. We either voluntarily or unknowingly gave away our natural or unalienable rights to be ruled by kings, dictators or pious leaders. Sovereignty was no longer the privy of a select few but the inherent right of every human being ever born.

These ideas were more dangerous than all the standing armies man has ever mustered. For man to believe that he was above any king or potentate and that he gave them their power was, in a term, blasphemy! For our Founding Fathers to think so was a testament to their understanding of the oppression that has plagued the masses throughout history.

Simply put, sovereignty flowed from natural law (or a Creator, if you must) to man and from man to the government he creates.

It was with these ideas that 7 out of the 13 original States submitted addenda to their Ratification Documents that I mentioned above. Six States simply agreed to the new Constitution, and said so in short statements. The others did so by separating them into two parts, a "Declaration of Rights" and "Amendments". New York most eloquently states:

and that those clauses in the said Constitution, which declare that Congress shall not have or exercise certain powers, do not imply that Congress is entitled to any powers not given by the said Constitution; but such clauses are to be construed either as exceptions to certain specified powers, or as inserted merely for greater caution.

Meaning the Constitution granted specific limited powers to the federal government, and if it was not clearly stated therein, the federal government did not have that power and conversely, just because a specific unalienable right was not mentioned did not negate those left unmentioned. They only included those unalienable rights that the federal government could never transgress and were added for greater clarification.

How do these documents relate to someone's RKBA one may ask? Well let me clarify, to the best of my understanding and abilities. To get to the main points of this diary, we must review those Declaration Of Rights and what they actually said in the "First Debates In Congress."

We can assume nothing by the silence of the minority other than being part of a Union was better than "going it alone" and there is "strength in numbers". As Virginia points out here:

    that, whatsoever imperfections may exist in the Constitution, ought rather to be examined in the mode prescribed therein, than to bring the Union into danger by a delay, with a hope of obtaining amendments previous to the ratification

One cannot argue from the position of Federalist versus Anti-federalist because those arguments preceded these enumerations and clarifications. We must look at the end results of those debates. Our current Constitution was ultimately ratified. Most are continually misdirected to read this Federalist paper or that Anti-Federalist paper; many parse out statements from Hamilton or Jefferson and say "see", this is what they meant, ignoring the final verdict. This line of debate is a red herring.

We have in our hands, their actual words, fears and directions to the newly created Federal government. What they believed they were doing by their assent to the aforementioned Constitution and how they expected the new federal government to act and interpret it.

They went a step further and expected that any amendments adhere to the spirit of these statements.

How many times have we all heard or claimed "it's the spirit of the law not how it's written?"  

As Rhode Island points out two separate times:

Under these impressions, and declaring that the rights aforesaid cannot be abridged or violated, and that the explanations aforesaid are consistent with the said Constitution,
---
to obtain a ratification of the following amendments to the said Constitution, in the manner prescribed therein; and in all laws to be passed by the Congress in the mean time, to conform to the spirit of the said amendments, as far as the Constitution will admit.

The 7 States ofVirginia,New York, Rhode Island, North Carolina, South Carolina, New Hampshire, and Massachusettsall admit in their opening remarks in some shape or form that they were speaking for and at the request of the people of their particular State, Commonwealth or Constituency. Virginia takes this idea a step further and claims:

DO in the name and in behalf of the people of Virginia, declare and make known that the powers granted under the Constitution, being derived from the people of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression,

There is much debate and confusion rested upon the term "people", did "people" mean collectively, as in "The People of the State of New York" or as "people", the plural form of person, the individual citizen? Today, we use the term "persons" to identify more than one individual, or plurality. Our Founders were learned men and used the proper term "people" to signify plurality. The term "people" was not meant as a "collectivist" term or "collectively." If that was the case, South Carolina would not have stated:

in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to the people of the said United States, and their posterity, — Do, in the name and behalf of the people of this state, hereby assent to and ratify the said Constitution.

It seems that New York made similar points:

That the powers of government may be reassumed by the people whensoever it shall become necessary to their happiness; that every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by the said Constitution clearly delegated to the Congress of the United States, or the departments of the government thereof, remains to the people of the several states, or to their respective state governments, to whom they may have granted the same;

Please note that they are distinguishing the people from their constructed state governments or their appointed magistrates, trustees and/or agents. It's also clear with the use of the term "and their posterity", it's obviously referencing human beings and their descendants. For States cannot have descendants, correct? We are not property of the State governments we created.

Today, people are educated to believe that the Constitution confers rights and privileges, as a Professor Driesbach, from John Hopkins, falsely claims in his Baltimore Sun article:

The basic difference between the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. One establishes a government, the other doesn't. One rests on man-made law, the other on natural law; one posits only conferred rights, the other posits inalienable rights.

Not only does this kind of misinformation get taught to future Public Safety Officers and Students, it ignores the actual facts. The Constitution grants nothing, it's sole intent was to create a government that would protect unalienable rights we already possess; that precede the Constitution or any government of man!

This brings us to the crux of these Ratification Documents. They all state in some form or another as Rhode Island does here:

That there are certain natural rights of which men, when they form a social compact, cannot deprive or divest their posterity,—among which are the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

XVII. That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; that a well- regulated militia, including the body of the people capable of bearing arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defence of a free state; that the militia shall not be subject to martial law, except in time of war, rebellion, or insurrection; that standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and ought not to be kept up,

Under these impressions, and declaring that the rights aforesaid cannot be abridged or violated and that the explanations aforesaid are consistent with the said Constitution.

There are numerous discussions that falsely claim that they are attaching the right to keep and bear arms with service in the militia. Note the use of the semi-colon. This is a separate thought and idea. New Hampshire clarifies this separate unalienable right here:

XII. Congress shall never disarm any citizen, unless such as are or have been in actual rebellion.

Virginia, North Carolina and Rhode Island go even further to grant those of religious scruples the power, if called to "bear arms", to hire someone in their steed. A very progressive ideal of a religious exemption!

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.

If it wasn't an individual right, then why make an exemption for the "person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms"? It's evident they were making two separate points. This is simple logic. If we all showed up at the scene of an invasion, we all couldn't all be generals, could we? If one person from Rhode Island yells, "Shoot first ask, questions later" and someone from New York yells, "No, wait 'till you can see the whites of their eyes", which direction does one follow? There is a clear need for some type of command and control structure.

Furthermore, no one can defend themselves against tyrannical transgressions or edicts of their government without having the force. Our founding fathers exercised that natural right "to keep and bear arms" in freeing themselves from their oppression. See Rhode Island's point here:

II. That all power is naturally vested in, and consequently derived from, the people; that magistrates, therefore, are their trustees and agents, and at all times amenable to them.

What does one do if those magistrates, trustees, or agents ignore you? Some claim we have the right to vote them out of office.  We cannot vote out the appointed Commissioner for the Board of Elections. We cannot vote out of office the appointed FDA, EPA, USDA, or IRS administrators.  Remember the Poll Taxes, Literacy Tests or the current "Caging Lists"? They were designed to disenfranchise people or a specific group of people.

If they meant that we could not "bear arms" against a tyrannical government and if they believed such an act was rebellion or insurrection, they wouldn't have said, as is pointed out by North Carolina:

  1. That government ought to be instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the people; and that the doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd, slavish, and destructive to the good and happiness of mankind.

New York, Virginia and Rhode Island wants the militia to be exempt from martial law, except in war, rebellion or insurrection and they put time limits on the use of the militia outside of their respective states too.

That the militia should not be subject to martial law, except in time of war, rebellion, or insurrection.

That the militia of any state shall not be compelled to serve without the limits of the state, for a longer term than six weeks, without the consent of the legislature thereof.

This leads into a another thought: did our Founding Fathers believe themselves to be "terrorists" or "insurrectionists"? Not in the slightest, they had pleaded and begged for redress and the only answer they got was silence and further oppression.

They gave us a foundation with which to build the greatest nation humanity has ever known. They also understood that there may come a time when the need may arise to "bear arms" again, and that right was inviolate! Whether that need arose from a foreign power trying to invade or from the very government they created.

Our Congress made all of my the points stated above during their First Debates in Congress when they were addressing these Ratification Documents and amending the Constitution to comply.

From Pg 451

"First there be prefixed to the constitution a declaration, that all power is originally vested in, and consequently derived from, the people.

That Government is instituted and ought to be exercised for the benefit of the people; which consists in the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the right of acquiring and using property, and generally of pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

That the people have an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to reform or change their Government, whenever it be found adverse or inadequate to the purpose of its institution.

From Pg 454

"But whatever may be the form which the several States have adopted in making declarations in favor of particular rights, the great object in view is to limit and qualify the powers of Government, by excepting out of the graut of power those cases in which the Government ought not to act, or to act in a particular mode."

From Pg 742

"I would gentlemen to consider the authorities upon which the two constitutions are to stand. The original was established by the people at large, by conventions chosen by the for the express purpose. The preamble to the constitution declares the act: but will it be a truth in ratifying the next constitution, which is to be done perhaps by the State Legislatures, and not conventions chosen for the purpose?

Will gentlemen say it is "We the people" in this case? Certainly they cannot; for, by the present constitution, we, nor all the legislatures in the Union together, do not possess the power of repealing it. All that is granted us, by the 5th article is, that whenever we shall think it necessary, we may propose amendments to the constitution: not that we may propose to repeal the old and substitute a new one.

The amendments reported are a declaration of rights; the people are secure in them, whether we declare them or not;"

Special note: To clarify above quote, they were not discussing the Articles of Confederation versus the newly ratified Constitution, they were discussing what it was they were actually doing by amending the new Constitution. They debated whether or not they were creating a completely new document or were they just changing the original.

From Pg 778

"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.

"What, sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty. Now, it must be evident, that, under this provision, together with their other powers, Congress could take such measures with respect to a militia, as to make a standing army necessary.

Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins."

From Pg 779

"We do not live under an arbitrary Government, and the States, respectively will have the government of the militia, unless when called into actual service."

Could their intentions not be more clear? "Keeping and bearing arms" was every human beings inherent right, and if necessary to use those "arms" to secure the people (plural) against the mal-administration of the government! And that every person in the United States was a militia member and only when called into duty could their "right to keep and bear arms" be controlled, directed or limited but not until that point or afterwards.

If the Founders meant for the "right to keep and bear arms" as only being attached to militia service, or as a "collective right", as many falsely claim, then whey didn't they say it?

For example, "the right to keep and bear arms may only be exercised while in service as a militia member for the protection of the State or Nation".

New York, Virginia, Rhode Island and even Massachusetts said similar things when ratifying our Constitution. It's clear they believed that the protection and/or restoration of Constitutional Law was not to be construed as rebellion or insurrection. These actions were not only the inherent right of free people, it was their duty!

I'd go to this final step, for those "anti-gun advocates" that try to paint "gun owners as odd, absurd or crazy." I'd ask: is the exercise of my unalienable right to free speech crazy?  Or my unalienable right to "remain silent" crazy?  Or my unalienable right to practice my religion crazy?  Wait, scratch that last one. I truly wonder if religion isn't (as I laugh).  Be that as it may, exercising your rights does not make you bad, crazy or anything.  It does make you a free human being.

If you don't believe me, will you believe our modern day Senate and their findings?

Report of the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, 97th Congress, Second Session (February 1982) that found:

The conclusion is thus inescapable that the history, concept, and wording of the second amendment to the Constitution of the United States, as well as its interpretation by every major commentator and court in the first half century after its ratification, indicates that what is protected is an individual right of a private citizen to own and carry firearms in a peaceful manner.[1]


Special Note:
while I point to this quote, see the "spin" that our Congress puts on it today "...in a peaceful manner".  This was never said in any of the Ratification Documents, "The First Debates in Congress" or any Supreme Court Decisions.

I will end with this: don't take my word for anything. Take the time, sit down and read these Ratification Documents in full, then read the "First Debates in Congress", in full. Understand that I'm not putting any "spin" on these historical facts, just presenting them to you.

Take responsibility to learn about those things that are intentionally misinterpreted, obfuscated and vilified. Don't be mislead into believing those who exercise their inherent rights are your enemy or worse "just crazy". Ask yourself this: why would we be intentionally misinformed or misdirected from these facts? Why has this subject become so divisive and destructive?  My only answer: lack of proper education based on divide and conquer ideologies.

Suggested further readings:

1. DEATH BY GOVERNMENT, by R.J. Rummel.

"Rummel observes that while library stacks have been written on the possible nature and consequences of nuclear war and how it might be avoided, the reality is that up to 360 million civilians have been slaughtered by their own governments just in the 20th Century! Yet, very few books have dealt with the overall human cost of "death by government" (The Black Book of Communism being one exception).

Just as criminals prefer unarmed victims, tyrants prefer disarmed citizens. A government that does not trust its citizens with weapons cannot be trusted with power.

2. United States v. Cruikshank (1875)

6. The right to bear arms is not granted by the Constitution; neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The Second Amendments means no more than that it shall not be infringed by Congress, and has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the National Government.

3. Scott v. Sandford (1856)

The Dred Scott majority opinion listed the unacceptable consequences of black citizenship: black citizens would have the right to enter any state, to stay there as long as they pleased, and within that state they could go where they wanted at any hour of the day or night, unless they committed some act for which a white person could be punished. Further, black citizens would have "the right to . . . full liberty of speech in public and private upon all subjects which [a state's] own citizens might meet; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went."

Special Note:  The Dred Scott case is changed by the 14th Amendment which gave Blacks citizenship. It does not negate the legal position that keeping and bearing arms is still an individual right.

Originally posted to Gerrilea on Tue Jun 22, 2010 at 06:04 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (25+ / 0-)

    -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 Jun 22, 2010 at 06:04:16 AM PDT

  •  title change please. (9+ / 0-)

    RKBA: The States' Ratification Documents

    Thanks.

    MF and RKBA Member. Share Our Wealth -9.00, -4.05

    by KVoimakas on Tue Jun 22, 2010 at 06:13:31 AM PDT

  •  Great diary. (9+ / 0-)

    Thanks! I thoroughly enjoyed the read.

    MF and RKBA Member. Share Our Wealth -9.00, -4.05

    by KVoimakas on Tue Jun 22, 2010 at 06:15:02 AM PDT

  •  Oh, great, natural law theory. (0+ / 0-)

    Meaning the Constitution granted specific limited powers to the federal government, and if it was not clearly stated therein, the federal government did not have that power and conversely, just because a specific unalienable right was not mentioned did not negate those left unmentioned. They only included those unalienable rights that the federal government could never transgress and were added for greater clarification.

    Problem: the right to bear arms crowd is asserting that the federal government DOES have "a power not clearly stated therein", namely, the power to prevent state regulation of guns.

    They also understood that there may come a time when the need may arise to "bear arms" again, and that right was inviolate!

    No.  They understood that they needed to disarm slaves, indians and revolutionaries and wanted the states, not the feds, to decide who could bear arms.  Just as the states decided which religions would be established, who would be slaves, etc.

    THe concept that "there may be a need" doesn't mean that every person with a gun gets to decide on his own.  Otherwise, you end up sideing with THIS lady:

    "I hope that's not where we're going. But, you know, if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies."

    Someone on daily kos called me a poopyhead. My life is SO like Nelson Mandela's.

    by Inland on Tue Jun 22, 2010 at 06:15:44 AM PDT

  •  Fantastic. I wish I could hang around. (12+ / 0-)

    Gotta go buy some old books.

    Don't forget to Rec the Diary by webranding too...

    It ain't called paranoia - when they're really out to get you. 6 points.

    by Jaime Frontero on Tue Jun 22, 2010 at 06:23:00 AM PDT

  •  amazing that this is an argument that (14+ / 0-)

    even has to be made, frankly. Great diary BTW. But i get so annoyed at those who want to debate the interpretation of the 2nd amendment. What an amazing waste of energy. It is what it is.

    If those who assert that the 2nd amendment doesn't in fact grant the right to KBA to every citizen, then what?  I mean, supposing somehow we received some divine revelation that indeed it was NOT the founders' intention to allow citizens to keep and bear arms, what would be the next logical step?

    recall all weapons?

    Yeah, right. That makes as much sense as sending 14 million undocumented workers back to their countries of origin.

    So then....what?

    Go through the records of those who have registered weapons and send agents to pick up the guns and put those who own them in jail? (again, massive fail. See Arizona 1070 or our current marijuana laws for proof of how ridiculous and impossible and costly that would be.)

    So then....what?

    Create a "militia" so that we can strictly adhere to the language of the constitution? Really? How? Who?

    Seriously!?!

    /end mini-rant

    Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I will tell you what you believe. h/t MeteorBlades

    by mdmslle on Tue Jun 22, 2010 at 06:50:07 AM PDT

  •  Holy Toledo! (14+ / 0-)

    Nice diary.  Kinda long but laid out smartly and heavily linked.  Yay!

    Hoping for a firearm tax credit, and Changing my ammo frequently :)

    by 1911s on Tue Jun 22, 2010 at 06:57:22 AM PDT

  •  History, especially legal history, is fascinating (13+ / 0-)

    Good diary and thoroughly enjoyed the peek into a nearly forgotten, and often misunderstood, detail in the history of our republic.

    It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment. - Ansel Adams

    by Otteray Scribe on Tue Jun 22, 2010 at 07:05:50 AM PDT

  •  Excellent diary, well researched! (9+ / 0-)

    Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

    by Robobagpiper on Tue Jun 22, 2010 at 07:15:47 AM PDT

  •  On "God-given rights" (0+ / 0-)

    Do you honestly believe that God has granted to everyone in the world the right to bear keep and bear arms, but their cultural biases mean they have gone against God's will? Or did God only give this right to us American citizens?

    "Too big to fail" is not too big to jail.

    by Angela Quattrano on Tue Jun 22, 2010 at 07:17:09 AM PDT

  •  Very well done! (9+ / 0-)

    That is a wealth of important information, all brought into one place -- thoroughly enjoyed the read!

  •  So long as the government is elected (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Inland

    I don't see how the NC clause comes into play. You have to exercise your right to vote before you exercise this supposed right of resistance.

    If the government is elected, as it is currently, then there cannot be any argument that the government is doing the will of the people. Even if people say they disagree with the decisions being made, if they don't effect change at the ballot box, then they are in a minority or they skipping a step.

    The clause mentions 'arbitrary power and oppression'. I wonder how many people would say that the Obama Administration qualifies as such. I'm not sure that the oppression that the colonists faced can be imagined by people today (except by those who have actually lived under similar or worse regimes). Yeah, we all like to whine about how the government does this or that badly, or how we're not being heard, but the bottom line is that we do vote for our government, and we do have truly vast freedoms.

    We cannot vote out the appointed Commissioner for the Board of Elections. We cannot vote out of office the appointed FDA, EPA, USDA, or IRS administrators.  Remember the Poll Taxes, Literacy Tests or the current "Caging Lists"? They were designed to disenfranchise people or a specific group of people.

    I really cannot tell how the FDA, EPA and USDA, who all answer to the elected President and function under legislation passed by the elected Congress, have anything to do with disenfranchisement.

    I advise you to clarify this portion of the diary.

    •  Is our government truly answerable to us today? (6+ / 0-)

      Without going onto another topic here, all I can point to that disproves your point would be ES&S and Deibold voting machines.

      Review the findings of the 2004 and 2006 stolen elections.

      As to your point about those administrators being accountable.  They are not accountable to me directly.

      That's the failure of this system I see today.  It will take years if not a generation to get all the "moles" that were appointed by Bush into our Federal Government out.

      Look at MMS agency and the Gulf disaster.

      And I personally believe that if I can't get rid of someone I'm paying taxes to employ, then yes, disenfranchisement has occurred.

      No matter if it's the Cop on the street to the City Dog Catcher.

      It's pretty clear to me. A government by and for the people, not a government bought and paid for by Merck, Exxon or Monsanto.

      •  if that's what you want to believe, so be it (0+ / 0-)

        I will not claim that our elections are 100% perfect.

        But I do believe that the vast majority of elections in this country are valid.

        Does every government official need to be directly accountable? That makes no sense, and obviously the FFs didn't believe in this since they had the Cabinet.

        •  I don' t think every gov't official need be (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          buddabelly, KVoimakas, theatre goon

          directly accountable to me, what a mess that could become.  I'd say that the accountant, the postal carrier or the person that greets you at the door or office could be left out.

          Any person who can directly influences what I eat, drink, breathe, say or do...must be. Like the Supreme Court.  Instead of making these lifetime appointments, make the appointments congruent with those who were elected and then appointed them. That would work for me.

          If these unelected officials want to keep their good paying jobs, they will act in a manner that keeps "we the people" happy.

          And I would add that our elected officials could only hold office for a maximum of 8 yrs. and not have the authority to enter public service ever again, in any position or appointment.

      •  So you don't believe in the Constitution? (0+ / 0-)

        Your rant here basically says that you don't accept representative democracy as a form of government.

        That's fine, but don't now go claiming that the Constitution, which created the representative democracy, grants you the "Right to Keep and Bear Arms" and that that right is supreme to the right of the people to be create laws that "establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity"

        •  I accept it, because that's what we currently (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          buddabelly, KVoimakas, theatre goon

          have. I also accept the reality that we can dissolve this system of government when it doesn't do what it was intended to do.

          Furthermore, I do not accept your position here:

          but don't now go claiming that the Constitution, which created the representative democracy, grants you the "Right to Keep and Bear Arms" and that that right is supreme to the right of the people to be create laws

          1.  The constitution did not grant me anything
          1.  It's intentions were to ensure our unalienable rights.
          1.  You've not read what they actually said in my diary or the links provided.

          But maybe you missed this:


          Page 742, The amendments reported are a declaration of rights; the people are secure in them, whether we declare them or not;"

          The government cannot take away or regulate that which it has no authority over, period.

          •  I read your diary, but the notes on the debate (0+ / 0-)

            are not the Constitution.

            You quote the opinion of one man (Roger Sherman), to support your notion that the RKBA is a "natural right." It is far from clear if this view was predominate.

            The debate revolved around a large number questions, the final set of "rights" are not all "natural rights," as we pointed out by Madison in his speech introducing the BOR to the Congress.

            Now back to my original point. Your rant basically says that our Constitutionally created form of government is not working.

            You state:

            ... I also accept the reality that we can dissolve this system of government when it doesn't do what it was intended to do.

            You are actually wrong. The Constitution of the United States does not present any means to change the system of government. What you are talking about is revolution. Which is your right, but then why bother with  analysis of the Bill of Rights debates if you firmly believe that your "Right" is disjoint from the document.

            •  If one is to understand what was being done (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KVoimakas, theatre goon

              by the creation of the constitution and how it was meant to be interpreted is exactly what they discussed in the very first Congress.

              These facts cannot be debated.  As for your characterization of my postings as "rants" is a derogatory adjective to discredit my position.

              I've made no mistakes here.

              I'll repeat this for you, from page 742:

              we, nor all the legislatures in the Union together, do not possess the power of repealing it. All that is granted us, by the 5th article is, that whenever we shall think it necessary, we may propose amendments to the constitution: not that we may propose to repeal the old and substitute a new one.

              The amendments reported are a declaration of rights; the people are secure in them, whether we declare them or not;"

              The constitution was written to design a Central Government. The BoR were heavily debated and discussed.  Some said there was no need for a BoR because the Central Government was not given authority over anything other than what was specifically outlined, meaning a BoR was a moot point.  

              Others claimed and feared without a BoR that the new Central Government would eventually take it upon themselves to control, regulate etc. those things unless it was made clear they could not.

              I guess we know the answer, don't we?  The BoR were adopted.

              •  How is PAGE 742 central to the BoR? (0+ / 0-)

                If what is recorded on PAGE 742 of the record were so important to understanding the purpose and goals of the Bill of Rights, you'd think that maybe it would show up earlier in the debate? Or maybe in the actual pre-amble to the legislation. What actually passed is what most (2/3rds) could agree to.

                As for "Rant" please read what you wrote above:

                As to your point about those administrators being accountable.  They are not accountable to me directly.

                That's the failure of this system I see today.  It will take years if not a generation to get all the "moles" that were appointed by Bush into our Federal Government out.

                Look at MMS agency and the Gulf disaster.

                And I personally believe that if I can't get rid of someone I'm paying taxes to employ, then yes, disenfranchisement has occurred.

                No matter if it's the Cop on the street to the City Dog Catcher.

                It's pretty clear to me. A government by and for the people, not a government bought and paid for by Merck, Exxon or Monsanto.

                That's a rant. Representative Government, what the FF's gave us with the Constitution, is intended specifically to prevent you from "getting rid of" anyone performing duties under the power of the legislative, executive, or judicial branches. So don't lecture me about how to read the Constitution if you're going to ask for extra-constitutional powers for yourself.

                Furthermore, the "facts" that you bring out are simply pieces of the legislative record. Nothing more.  Because one speaker characterized the BoR as you've quoted, doesn't mean that all believed that

                As for "how to interpret the Constitution" we have the Supreme Court to do that. The Constitution was never meant to be a static piece of legislation (otherwise what's the purpose of Article 5), since you've read the history, you know that US law is based on English common law, which the framers knew had changed over time. They were also aware of the problems of the English system, hence the need for a formal Constitution.

                •  Funny how you framed it...really (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  rockhound, KVoimakas, theatre goon

                  what the FF's gave us with the Constitution, is intended specifically to prevent you from "getting rid of" anyone performing duties under the power of the legislative, executive, or judicial branches.

                  NO, no, no, wrong, wrong, wrong.  Wrong to infinity!

                  The Constitution was not established to prevent me from getting rid of anyone "doing their job".  I truly can't believe you wrote that and I had to actually read it.

                  The Constitution DOES NOT GRANT ME OR YOU ANYTHING, "WE THE PEOPLE" CREATED SAID DOCUMENT!

                  And "we the people" can abolish it and replace it if we so chose. Even if it's doing exactly as we want it to.  There are no conditions that must be met prior to our decision.  Congress was not granted any authority but to change it through Article V.

                  And I did clarify my position.

                  That's the failure of this system I see today.  It will take years if not a generation to get all the "moles" that were appointed by Bush into our Federal Government out.

                  How is it a representative gov't if when the person who was voted out of office still has individuals he or she appointed working in it?  Individuals that still effect policy and actions of said gov't?

                  Any person who can directly influences what I eat, drink, breathe, say or do...must be. Like the Supreme Court.  Instead of making these lifetime appointments, make the appointments congruent with those who were elected and then appointed them. That would work for me.

                  Furthermore, the "facts" that you bring out are simply pieces of the legislative record. Nothing more.  Because one speaker characterized the BoR as you've quoted, doesn't mean that all believed that

                  You've clearly not read the provided links, as suggested, in their entirety.  And you've proven your own point.

                  What actually passed is what most (2/3rds) could agree to.

                  That is a majority, is it not?

                  Now we could debate Marbury vs Madison until the universe ends.  As the Constitution made clear the "supreme court" could review cases involving treaties and crimes on the high seas, it could even review or hear cases/issues that arose from the occupants of the District Of Columbia, no further.
                  They assumed power not granted them, IMHO.

                  Congress was given power to fund or not to fund the Supreme Court, if they so decided.  Because it was their court, not the "peoples". They were required to compensate their judges and there is no mention of how many or how few they could hire.  Congress could tomorrow vote for an appropriations bill that only gave the President $1000 to work with, they could do the same for the Supreme Court.  And Constitutionally speaking, there is nothing either branch could say or do.

                  This is the only point I actually agree with:

                  The Constitution was never meant to be a static piece of legislation (otherwise what's the purpose of Article 5),

                  If "we the people" wanted the central gov't to have more authority, it could be done, but only through that process.  Not a "re-interpretation" of the original.

                  •  Its been fun... (0+ / 0-)

                    In your emphasis of "We the people" in the above is interesting. Are you now trying to appropriate to this generation the founding of the country? I believe we have been given by our fore-fathers a Constitution that we have to shepard to the next generation, making the appropriate changes and adaptations that our situation requires, for them to take forward.

                    The establishment of the Constitution was intended to (and to my opinion did) close off the path of more "re-dos." "We the People" DO NOT HAVE THE POWER, RIGHT OR PRIVILEGE TO DISSOLVE THE CONSTITUTION. You may wish it different, you may hope that your "natural rights" trump the Constitution, but they don't. Our "Constitutional Rights" exist only in the context of the constitution. We, as Americans, believe in the inalienable rights articulated in the DoI, life, liberty, and the pursuit. But absent the Constitution, they are meaningless. If you lived in Saudi Arabia you do not have the "inalienable right" to worship as you wish. In China you do not have the "inalienable right" to petition your government for redress of grievance. Our Constitution, and the system of government (how ever imperfect) it establishes, is what makes those rights "inalienable."

                    •  Your opinion is noted, but its not what is true (4+ / 0-)

                      accurate or what the historical record shows.  The Constitution does not grant rights, it never did. You can repeat this lie as many times as you like it is not true.

                      My unalienable rights are meaningless if I do not have the power to keep people like you who believe that they are "granted by the constitution" from continually removing them "for the greater good".  

                      This is not a Star Trek Movie. I have no "constitutional rights", I have unalienable rights that are supposed to be protected and ensured by a piece of paper.  

                      What I do wish for this generation to know and understand that the limited powers granted to our created government can be re-assumed.  

                  •  Now my last post on the topic (0+ / 0-)

                    Do you believe that you (personally) have the "right" to dismiss members of the federal government because you pay the taxes that pay their salary? And that your in ability to do that makes you disenfranchised? (if you don't then why did you write it).

                    At the Federal level "the people" elect representatives that work on our behalf. We have the opportunity to throw them out every 2, 4, or 6 years. You can feel as frustrated as you like about the quality, and can petition the government as much as you like, but you never had the right, privilege, or power, under the Constitution, to "get rid" a federal employee (run for President if you want to do that).

                    My point on your picking pieces of the literature and claiming that as the majority view is that all that we KNOW is the 2/3rds majority view is what was passed. It is folly to try and gather the "intent" of the Constitutional Congress with half a dozen citations.

    •  The assertion of a right (0+ / 0-)

      means the will of the people can't overturn that right.  The assertion of an unwritten right from God...or nature...means that each and every person could be in agreement and there STILL would be a right.

      It's more than just convenient, it's profoundly undemocratic and directly contradicts assertions that "the people" are the ones who are in charge.

      That's why I pose the question that gets to the nub:

      There's a right to bear arms against tyranny, and the individual gets to decide what "tyranny" is.   If the individual doesn't get to decide when to start shooting his arms, then who does?  

      The gun rights advocates don't want to say "the people" since it allows for government regulation of guns and their uses.  They don't want to say "the individual" because it sides with people who want to use guns against the current democratically elected government.

      So they simply argue as far as needed to assert that everyone should have gun rights and let me clean up the implications.  Here's a better idea: scratch the entire "natural rights" concept except to say if you think a right is "natural", let's vote on that.

      Someone on daily kos called me a poopyhead. My life is SO like Nelson Mandela's.

      by Inland on Tue Jun 22, 2010 at 08:20:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

        •  And what's a "civil right"? (0+ / 0-)

          As we are in the realm of unwritten rights, let's vote on it.  Maybe the diarist thinks there's a hotline to god or nature, but different people have different ideas on what god wants.  Let's debate and vote.  

          Someone on daily kos called me a poopyhead. My life is SO like Nelson Mandela's.

          by Inland on Tue Jun 22, 2010 at 08:36:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No what I think is secondary to what our (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KVoimakas, theatre goon

            Founding Fathers said and did.

            Let me point this out for you:

            From page 451 listed above:

            That the people have an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to reform or change their Government, whenever it be found adverse or inadequate to the purpose of its institution.

            And from page 742:

            The amendments reported are a declaration of rights; the people are secure in them, whether we declare them or not;"

            •  As they argued in anticipation of a vote. (0+ / 0-)

              That the people have an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to reform or change their Government,

              Sure.  "The People".  That's why they didn't just sit back and declare what was or was not a right would be decided by arms at a later date.  They voted on it, in fact, they included the power to amend the constitution in the constitution.

              But you seem to think that's only a possible  alternative to armed insurrection.

              Someone on daily kos called me a poopyhead. My life is SO like Nelson Mandela's.

              by Inland on Tue Jun 22, 2010 at 11:28:36 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  We did, and it passed ... (0+ / 0-)
      •  holy crap you just keep making stuff up! (10+ / 0-)

        Dude chill out a bit.

        WE THE PEOPLE have a constitutionally recognized right to keep and bear arms.  That right applies to each and every individual citizen of the USA.

        There: 'the people' and 'individual' in one sentence.  Sorry for not getting 'the individual' but hey I went to intent ... I think.  Truthfully, your intent is to keep flailing about as if posting frequently somehow equates to logical discourse, but I digress.

        The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed according to our constitution, so you're wrong to claim that our right somehow grants the government the power to do what the 2nd amendment says it can't do.

        And yes people with guns can, have, and will use them against any form of government they happen to be under.  Whether or not they are right or wrong in that action is completely separate from the fact that it has, can, and will happen.

        And yes everyone in the USA has what you term 'gun rights'.  You have the right to NOT exercise that right because it is a right: not a requirement.  I have the right to carry my arms in public virtually without restriction.  I also have the right to use my firearms in defense of someone who has chosen to not exercise that right and is in a situation where the defensive use of a firearm would be justified by law.  In other words, the simple fact that we have these rights - even without personally exercising your individual right - causes a benefit to you.  Much like the right to free speech and assembly eh?

        Hoping for a firearm tax credit, and Changing my ammo frequently :)

        by 1911s on Tue Jun 22, 2010 at 08:38:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's a different argument and topic. (0+ / 0-)

          WE THE PEOPLE have a constitutionally recognized right to keep and bear arms.

          That's got nothing to do with the argument of a natural, UNWRITTEN right to guns in order to fight "tyranny".  It's saying what's in the constitution itself, and off topic.

          I note that the constitution is basically something that is an alternative: if you don't like the document, well, there's this unwritten natural right that exists somewhere else.  It's a heads I win, tails you lose approach, meant to obtain a specific result of being able to own guns without much concern for other implications, like Ms. Angle being a mainstream political figure.

          Someone on daily kos called me a poopyhead. My life is SO like Nelson Mandela's.

          by Inland on Tue Jun 22, 2010 at 08:47:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  if you can change the topic (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gerrilea, KVoimakas, theatre goon

            so can I.

            Get back on track or accept any change in direction.

            Also accept that when someone puts words in your mouth then you must respond, as you seem to think other people must do.  Specifically, respond to the statement way up-thread where you state that to infringe on the right to keep and bear is to support and promote slavery and genocide.  http://www.dailykos.com/...

            Crickets?

            Hoping for a firearm tax credit, and Changing my ammo frequently :)

            by 1911s on Tue Jun 22, 2010 at 10:00:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  No the RKBA is limited, see felons... (0+ / 0-)
      •  And your argument still misses the whole point (7+ / 0-)

        "the people" is plural of person. And had you read any of the documents and links provided, you would understand this simple error you keep repeating.

        Each individual has a "natural right" that when they come together to form a government cannot be infringed or regulated by "the will of the people", that is exactly what they, our Founding Fathers were saying.

        That no government can infringe on our unalienable rights. They did their best to enumerate these things.

        Points you completely and continually ignore.

        •  And there's the problem... (5+ / 0-)

          And had you read any of the documents and links provided, you would understand this simple error you keep repeating.

          That is, apparently, asking entirely too much.  

        •  So who decides when it's time to start shooting? (0+ / 0-)

          Each individual has a "natural right" that when they come together to form a government cannot be infringed or regulated by "the will of the people",

          So what does that tell us about the answer to this question?

          There's a right to bear arms against tyranny, and the individual gets to decide what "tyranny" is.   If the individual doesn't get to decide when to start shooting his arms, then who does?  

          You seem to be saying....and god forbid I put words in your mouth, but I've asked you before...that Ms Angle has a right to decide for herself when it's time to start shooting.

          Someone on daily kos called me a poopyhead. My life is SO like Nelson Mandela's.

          by Inland on Tue Jun 22, 2010 at 08:52:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your question has been answered (6+ / 0-)

            Just because you don't like the answer, doesn't mean I didn't address this.

            Please review postings above, you might have missed it.

            But for the sake of "your argument".  

            I don't know when it's time to start shooting if shooting is even necessary.

            I will quote a great President:

            Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
            John F. Kennedy

            •  It's not that I don't like the answer: (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              labwitchy

              it's that YOU don't like the answer.  Or more appropriately, you don't want to deal with it.  

              I don't know when it's time to start shooting if shooting is even necessary.

              But Ms Angle might.  I mean, good for you, but I've got to wonder what kind of "freedom" and "liberty" lets HER decide all by herself that it's time for her to start shooting.

              Someone on daily kos called me a poopyhead. My life is SO like Nelson Mandela's.

              by Inland on Tue Jun 22, 2010 at 09:04:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Problem here is (5+ / 0-)

                You want me to argue her points, I cannot, I am not this Ms. Angle.  Only she can do that, care to call here and ask?

                And I've dealt with the issue, not avoided anything.

                •  I'm asking you about her rights. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  labwitchy

                  A right means that you don't have to agree with her; a right means that she decides for herself and her weapons.  Once you concede the right, you empower her to start shooting regardless of whether she has a good reason or not, in your opinion or in mine.

                  Turns out, it's not entirely hypothetical, since she's talking about guns in response to the actions of the current government.   Not to mention that whole civil war thing.

                  Someone on daily kos called me a poopyhead. My life is SO like Nelson Mandela's.

                  by Inland on Tue Jun 22, 2010 at 09:21:04 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That is still how she defines it, what do you (5+ / 0-)

                    truly want me to answer then?  

                    When should someone exercise their right to breathe?  When then need oxygen maybe????

                    There is a difference between having and exercising a right.  As most have said here, it's up to the individual.

                    And "conceding a right empowers her to start shooting"???

                    There is a difference between having an unalienable right and exercising that right.

                    •  You've already answered. (0+ / 0-)

                      How SHE defines it is all that matters.

                      As most have said here, it's up to the individual.

                      Yep.  Even if the individual, for example, thinks that the HCR reform is an unbearable tyranny as it's passed by two houses of congress and the president.

                      There is a difference between having an unalienable right and exercising that right.

                      Not in one respect: she can't be prevented or punished for exercising it or not exercising it.  It's entirely up to her.  That's what "right" means.  

                      But in another respect, quite a bit, in that the exercise leads to violence as a means of politics to overcome the will of the majority.

                      Someone on daily kos called me a poopyhead. My life is SO like Nelson Mandela's.

                      by Inland on Tue Jun 22, 2010 at 11:18:34 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  I would say she does. (5+ / 0-)

            I'd also say she has a much better chance of success if she associates herself with enough people who have made a similar individual decision, either independantly or through consultation with others, to give a good fight to their opposition.

            I neither condone nor condemn such reality, it is what it is.

            •  So its ok for her to mount an armed insurrection? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Inland

              As long as she has enough people with her? We'll just fight it out in streets?

              We've officially gone beyond the realm of Constitutional rights.

              There is no right to insurrection in the Constitution. As a matter of fact the one reason for the RBKA is to enable mustering a militia to put down an insurrection (Article 1, section 8).

              •  Please read the diary over, and then the (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                KVoimakas, theatre goon

                links provided and read what the Founders actually said...

                Here let me help you:

                From page 778 above,

                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.

                Seems to me that's exactly what they said. We could "bear arms" against a government that "mal-administered"....

                What are you missing here?

                •  Because something was said in debate (0+ / 0-)

                  does not make it the prevailing attitude.

                  Please square your idea of "bearing arms against a "mal-administered" government and the Congress' rights in section 8 of Article 1.

                  I'm absolutely certain that the actual text of the Constitution supersedes what was said during the debates.

                  •  First off, Congress has no rights, they may have (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    KVoimakas, theatre goon

                    been granted temporary authority to administer the Central Government created by the Constitution. Congress, the President and the Supreme Court cannot assume any authority that is not granted.

                    Hence the 9th and 10th Amendments.  

                    The prevailing attitude is reflected in the Bill of Rights. Understanding how they came to consensus and what they believed they were doing IS relevant.

                    I'm not sure what part of section 8 of Article 1 you wish me to reconcile?

                    Because clearly they, Congress has actually taken it upon themselves to ignore this section, or distort it to give monopolies to corporations and of course they've abdicated they duties under this section by allowing the federal reserve.  So, could you be a bit more specific???

                    If you want to discuss the Constitution itself, how can one not include what they thought and said while amending it?  Because what they believed then is not what is taught today in schools.

                    •  You're correct Congress has POWERS (0+ / 0-)

                      And they are not temporary...

                      Your list of "problems" with Congress' performance is odd at best ... the Federal Reserve? you believe that congress didn't have the power to create the Fed?

                      One should certainly understand the issues when the Constitution was ratified, but selectively quoting parts of the debate does nothing to prove that those ideas were the primary ones at the time.

                      And what was believed at the time of the creation of the Constitution is pretty much irrelevant.  What matters is how we use the tools the Constitution created for us to maintain and advance a free society.

                      As to Art. I, Sec. 8 powers:

                      To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

                      So above you claim that the 2nd amendment is in the Constitution to enable the people to rise-up against "mal-administered" government. However the Constitution (just quoted) empowers Congerss to call up the militia (a well-regulated one being necessary to the security of a free state) to put down insurrection.

                      That's what I'd like you to square. Was Congress only authorized to put down unpopular insurrections?

                      The Constitution exists to enable the peaceable change of government, not to enable armed revolution. We fought a Civil War to settle the question of Secession, but you seem to think that that right still exists, hidden in the 2nd.

                      •  I don't think it's hidden anywhere actually. (4+ / 0-)

                        How does one define "insurrection"? Is people gathering outside of Woodstock NY discussing dissolving our constitution, insurrection?

                        What do "we the people do", when those magistrates or public servants ignore our lawful demands? Beg? Plead?  Ask really nicely?

                        My question to you would be, if "we the people" want to abolish the constitution and institute say a theocracy, or a dictatorship, could we not do so?

                        Our Founders thought so, that we could decide how and what our government could or could not do.

                        •  "abolish the constitution" (0+ / 0-)

                          No the Framer's did not provide a method for abolishing the constitution. Theocracy, dictatorship, are not forms of government allowed under the US Constitution.

                          People gathering and talking, is not insurrection. You, however, claim that the 2nd amendment is needed to allow form armed resistance to a "mal-adminstered government."

                          So short answer is NO "we the people" cannot abolish the constitution. You could try and lead a revolution and institute a new constitution, but I'll fight you every step of the way, as will the Federal Government, State Governments, and the bulk of the populous.

                          •  This is not my personal position, quit trying (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            KVoimakas, theatre goon

                            to make me out to be something I'm not. I am defending the record here, as I understand it.

                            "mal-adminstered government" is what our Representatives said. I've taken the liberty of just repeating the sentiment.

                            It's that simple.


                            and that the doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd, slavish, and destructive to the good and happiness of mankind.

                          •  So maybe answer the question: (0+ / 0-)

                            Do you believe that a majority (2/3rds) of Framers and ratifiers of the Constitution believed that they were granting the power of suppressing rebellion to the Congress?

                            Do you believe that a majority (2/3rds) of the Framers and ratifiers of the Constitution believed that the "people's right to keep and bear arms" was grounded in preserving the right of the people to partake in rebellion?

                            BTW, the quote is not what OUR representatives said, but what A representative said.

                            (Now, you've chosen particular viewpoints from the debates to bring forward and defend. Are you saying you don't believe those positions? If not, then why are you defending them so hard? Finally, why should we, 220 years removed, consider the detailed opinions of people that couldn't imagine life in America today.)

                          •  Most of what I sourced I agree with (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            KVoimakas, theatre goon

                            But I did make the caveat that everyone read them in their entirety to understand what their intentions were. Not just one representative, but all of them. Everyone one that felt the desire to stand up and speak or make their positions known.

                            I'll point this out for you, we've all said "it's the spirit of the law, not how it's written".

                            How can we not know the "intent" of said Constitution without knowing the "spirit" it was written in?

                            I do not think dissolving the Constitution is rebellion or insurrection.  I do believe that yes the reason why they changed the Constitution at the "get go" was to ensure "individual liberties".  And to make sure that future generations of representatives understood that they were working and administering the central government at the command and will of the people.  If they stepped out of line they must understand the ultimate price they could pay.

                            As for this:

                            Finally, why should we, 220 years removed, consider the detailed opinions of people that couldn't imagine life in America today.

                            Because if we want to know what they intended for future generations, there is no way around it.  Congress does have the power to change the Constitution, through Article V processes but what is stopping them from passing an amendment that requires a formal day of prayer or a formal day of rest or a formal religion?  There is nothing stopping them from doing that.

                            They can pass any amendment they so chose, correct? But when they cross the line and go directly against the actual intentions of the creation of this Country then there has to be some way to control them.

                          •  I'll add this final thought. (5+ / 0-)

                            I truly believe that the BoR's was added to "head off" the failure of the new government.  They wanted to ensure it's success because many people, the majority in fact, did not trust government or a central government.  Rhode Island had 2 referendums on ratification of the Constitution and they both failed miserably.

                            It was by the third vote that they realized if they didn't ratify it their future was in doubt.

                            NY barely ratified it, 30 to 27, and Virginia was 89 to 79 If I recall correctly.  Had NY and Virginia not ratified the constitution most believed the new gov't was doomed to failure.

                            So, by a margin 13 extra votes, we have the United States of America, the one know today.

                            For people today to not be taught these fact or history belittles how fragile a prospect our Founders were proposing.

                          •  Good history, but not relevant (0+ / 0-)

                            What the Civil War showed was that our Constitutional system moves forwards. The first Constitution did fail, hence the reason for this one. If it failed I suspect there would have been another try.

                            But the important fact is it didn't fail, and we move forward from there.

                            I don't know what "people today" are not taught the history. The Declaration of Independence, Revolutionary War, post-Revolutionary War government formation, are all, as far as I know, taught in secondary schools through out the country. Some places they seem to have an odd view of history (TX primarily) but the facts are not hidden.

                          •  No what the Civil War proved as every war does (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            KVoimakas, theatre goon

                            "Might makes right" and "to the victor goes the spoils."  Nothing more or less.

                            As for this:

                            I don't know what "people today" are not taught the history.

                            Maybe you should take the responsibility to find out, eh?

                            I have so I will answer it for you.  Our educational system is not designed to teach critical thoughts or reasoning skills or even historical facts.  It is designed to "create the worker of tomorrow".

                          •  You still didn't answer the question, but... (0+ / 0-)

                            I don't believe that the spirit of the law trumps how its written. When there is ambiguity in how to implement a law, or lack of clarity as to the meaning of words, then, certainly, reading the legislative history is reasonable.

                            Modern law, though, goes to great extremes to make sure that the law as written embodies the law as intended.

                            I defy you to show that "dissolving the Constitution" can occur under the constitution. Amendment is not dissolution.

                            As for Amending the Constitution to require a formal day of prayer, sure that could be attempted. The SC would then have to square any implementation of that Amendment with the 1st's establishment clause, that is all within the framework of the Constitution.

                            As for how Amendment works, the Congress can pass an Amendment, but remember it must be ratified by the states. Congress cannot, without assent of the people as expressed by their State legislatures, amend the constitution.

                            Now if you want to talk about having a rump Constitutional Convention, passing a new Constitution, and then attempt to enforce that new Constitution, now we're talking about insurrection. There are more than a few groups that have done that, usually we just call them crackpots, but when the assemble arms, kill peace officers, ignore existing law and attempt to enforce their own, then our Constitutional government is duty bound, to the rest of us, to stop it.

                            I again say, that the specifics of the debate at the time may be interesting, but not controlling over how we, as modern American's interpret and create law. We now recognize that black men are not 3/5 of a person, women do have the right to vote, land ownership is not a prerequisite to voting.  What is important is what we were given, not why, we have a Constitutional system that needs to be protected, and perfected (but it will never be perfect), based on principles that have held over the centuries of a federal system, separation of powers, bicameral legislature, independent judiciary, representative government, These are the important facts. What a Constitutional Congress representative from Connecticut (Roger Sherman who you like to quote) (however esteemed by his peers) said at that congress isn't nearly as important.

                          •  I was a bit tired earlier and missed your flawed (4+ / 0-)

                            logic.By your own claims and standards the interpretation of the constitution and the 2nd amendment has already been done by the supreme court.

                            See my suggested further readings!

                            1. United States v. Cruikshank (1875)

                               6. The right to bear arms is not granted by the Constitution; neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The Second Amendments means no more than that it shall not be infringed by Congress, and has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the National Government.

                            Note that 10 yrs after the civil war ended, this decision was handed down and this legal decision is still valid to this day.

                            And your diatribe throughout my diary seems clear, you want to "re-invent" and "redefine" historical facts.  Sorry I will no participate much longer along these lines with you.

                            The intentions of our FF's are clear, they wanted to ensure to their posterity, individual unalienable rights that could never be regulated or controlled by our government or by "the will of the people".  These are the facts.

                            Deny, ignore and attempt to change the discussion away from them as much as you like, I will not continue to beat your dead horse.

                          •  As with many.... (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            gerrilea, rockhound, KVoimakas

                            ...anti-rights activists, it seems that, in this case, the commenter knows that there is absolutely no chance of actually changing the Constitution, so they would like to re-define what words mean to remove the rights that they don't agree with.

                            A common tactic.

              •  They aren't arguing the constitution. (0+ / 0-)

                They are arguing unwritten rights that can't be limited by the constitution.  

                We'll just fight it out in streets?

                Yep.  I mean, if it's left up to the individual to decide when it's time to start shooting, then, all you need is that one person and you're fighting it out in the streets.  

                Someone on daily kos called me a poopyhead. My life is SO like Nelson Mandela's.

                by Inland on Tue Jun 22, 2010 at 11:31:37 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Nice. You set the bar high. (6+ / 0-)

    Very well reasoned and researched.

    Faced with a decision? Ask yourself, WWWDD?

    by wackydoug on Tue Jun 22, 2010 at 05:24:38 PM PDT

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