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The strongest argument for gun control is found in the 2nd amendment itself, which reads:

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
Read it again:
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
What does "well regulated" mean?  In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the U.S. Supreme Court stated that
the adjective 'well-regulated' implies nothing more than the imposition of proper discipline and training.
What is the mechanism by which "proper discipline and training" is provided to members of this militia?  How well disciplined was Adam Lanza? James Holmes? Jared Loughner? Cho Seung Hui?

Until this so-called militia is being adequately regulated, the purported right of the people to keep and bear arms MUST be infringed.  If it is not regulated (or infringed upon), such a militia actually undermines and threatens the security of the state.

Are these members of a "militia" that any sane person would consider "well-regulated?"

PhotobucketOn December 14, 2012, Adam Peter Lanza, fatally shot twenty children and six adult staff members and wounded two at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the Sandy Hook village of Newtown, Connecticut, after killing his mother (in whose name the weapons he used were registered). Lanza was believed to suffer from a personality disorder and was "somewhat autistic." Others reported that he had been previously diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. http://en.wikipedia.org/...

Photobucket James Eagan Holmes is the suspected perpetrator of a mass shooting that occurred on July 20, 2012 at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Holmes allegedly set off several gas or smoke canisters and then opened fire on the theater audience, killing 12 and wounding 58. Holmes was described by his work supervisor as stubborn, uncommunicative and socially inept. Some of Holmes' acquaintances suspected prior to the shooting that Holmes suffered from mental illness and could be dangerous. Two weeks before the shooting, he sent a text message asking a graduate student if they had heard of the disorder dysphoric mania, and warning the student to stay away from him "because I am bad news.” http://en.wikipedia.org/...

PhotobucketJared Lee Loughner plead guilty to 19 charges, of murder and attempted murder, in connection with the shooting in Tucson, Arizona, on January 8, 2011, that killed six people, including Chief U.S. District Court Judge John Roll, as well as a 9-year-old girl, Christina-Taylor Green. The shooting also left 14 others injured, including U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Evidence has been presented of obsession with conspiracy theories, loathing of the governmant, anti-semitism, and attitudes and opinions regarded as "wildly inappropriate." http://en.wikipedia.org/...

Photobucket45-year-old Robert Stewart killed eight people and wounded another two before being shot and apprehended by a responding police officer in the Carthage North Carolina nursing home shooting, a mass murder that occurred on March 29, 2009.  With a violent temper and schizoid tendencies, Stewart seemed very depressed in the days prior to the shooting, saying that "everything had gone to hell." http://murderpedia.org/...

PhotobucketThe Northern Illinois University shooting was a school mass murder that took place on February 14, 2008, during which Steven Kazmierczak shot multiple people on the campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, United States, killing five and injuring twenty-one, before committing suicide. The shooting was baffling to those who knew him, as he appeared outgoing and never appeared to have social problems. http://en.wikipedia.org/...

PhotobucketCho Seung Hui killed 32 people and wounded 17 others on April 16, 2007 at VPI in Blacksburg, Virginia. There had been prior speculation regarding autism (including selective mutism), anxiety, and depression, and a professor had him removed from a poetry class due to "menacing behavior." He was determined to be "mentally ill and in need of hospitalization" by a physician, and said to be "an imminent danger to himself or others." However, because Cho was not involuntarily committed, he was still legally eligible to buy guns under Virginia law. http://en.wikipedia.org/...

PhotobucketThe Westroads Mall shooting was a murder-suicide that occurred on Wednesday, December 5, 2007, at the Von Maur department store in the Westroads Mall in Omaha, Nebraska, United States. Nineteen-year-old Robert A. Hawkins killed nine people (including himself) and wounded four, two of them critically. An hour before the rampage, Hawkins' mother gave the Sarpy County Sheriff's Department his suicide note, which read: "I just want to take a few peices of shit with me... just think tho, I'm gonna be fuckin famous." http://en.wikipedia.org/...

PhotobucketEric David Harris (with Dylan Bennet Klebold) committed the Columbine High School massacre. The pair killed 13 people and injured 24 others on April 20, 1999. The two made a video for a school project that showed them pretending to shoot fake guns and "snuffing" students in the hallway of their school as Hitmen for Hire. http://en.wikipedia.org/...

PhotobucketDylan Bennet Klebold (with Eric David Harris) committed the Columbine High School massacre. http://en.wikipedia.org/...

PhotobucketSilvio Izquierdo-Leyva shot four co-workers and a stranger to death during the shooting rampage on Dec. 30, 1999.  The 38-year-old former hotel laundryman told doctors that evil voices bedeviled him, and that he thought co-workers laughed behind his back because they thought he was gay.
http://www.sptimes.com/...

Photobucket101 California Street Shootings is the name given to a mass shooting that took place July 1, 1993 in San Francisco, California, claiming the lives of nine people, including the shooter, Gian Luigi Ferri.  A typed letter left behind by Ferri contained a list of complaints,[3] but the letter was largely unintelligible. http://en.wikipedia.org/...

PhotobucketThe Luby's massacre was a mass murder that took place on October 16, 1991, in Killeen, Texas, United States when George Hennard crashed his pickup truck through the front window of a Luby's cafeteria, shot 50 people (killing 23), exchanged shots with responding police, and then hid in a bathroom and fatally shot himself. http://en.wikipedia.org/...

PhotobucketJames Edward "Pop" Pough was an American spree killer, who, on June 18, 1990, killed nine people and wounded four others in a General Motors Acceptance Corporation car loan office in Jacksonville, Florida, before committing suicide. The day before he had already killed a prostitute and her pimp, wounded two teenagers and robbed a convenience store.
http://en.wikipedia.org/...

PhotobucketWilliam Bryan Cruse was an American mass murderer who killed six people and wounded ten others in Palm Bay, Florida on April 23, 1987.  Before, he would scream obcenities and shoot his rifle in the air to warn off any tresspassers.  http://en.wikipedia.org/...

PhotobucketThe San Ysidro McDonald's massacre was a mass murder that occurred on July 18, 1984, in a McDonald's restaurant in San Ysidro, California, United States. James Oliver Huberty killed 21 people (including five children) and injured 19 others. Leaving home heading for the massacre, Huberty stated that he was "hunting humans."
http://en.wikipedia.org/...

PhotobucketBrenda Ann Spencer is a convicted murderer who, at the age of 16, carried out a shooting spree from her home in San Diego, California, on January 29, 1979.  During the shooting spree, she killed two people and injured nine others at Cleveland Elementary School, which was located across the street from her home. Spencer showed no remorse for her crime, and her full explanation for her actions was "I don't like Mondays; this livens up the day." http://en.wikipedia.org/...

Of course, these are but sixteen of dozens of mass shootings, which are only a small fraction of thousands of tragic cases in which mentally deranged individuals had access to guns and used them to commit horrid murders.  

Who is responsible for the regulation of this militia?  Not the militia itself, in that they would never participate in any meaningful self-regulation.  Not Congress, because the government cannot regulate a militia which limits its power.  Not state governments, for the same reason.  Certainly not the NRA, because they oppose any regulation whatsoever.  

Thus, the Second Amendment provides a flawed and unreasonable justification for the rights of citizens to own guns.  Until this legal quandry is resolved, I assert that there are NO rights "to keep and bear arms," and that infringement is the responsibility of Congress.  In failing to infringe in this way, Congress is compromising our nation's security.

Originally posted to DocChap on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 02:39 PM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (136+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Navy Vet Terp, ExStr8, Karl Rover, DeadHead, NoisyGong, reflectionsv37, Ageing Hippie, newpioneer, second gen, Dobber, Angie in WA State, Azazello, Dave in Northridge, Oye Sancho, anna shane, Mr Robert, mollyjb, BeadLady, Glen The Plumber, Bluesee, cotterperson, klompendanser, Chaddiwicker, wayoutinthestix, 1BQ, cyncynical, Miggles, Shotput8, Lefty Coaster, Texknight, skyounkin, Joy of Fishes, UFOH1, OnlyWords, sidnora, DefendOurConstitution, Cronesense, Wreck Smurfy, chantedor, ichibon, statsone, Wayward Wind, rb608, MBNYC, Steven D, Sylv, floydgrant, buckstop, Avila, Naniboujou, caul, skybluewater, StevenJoseph, Ckntfld, Black Maned Pensator, rapala, ARS, SaintC, Redfire, rioduran, ridemybike, 2thanks, pimutant, madhaus, Akonitum, NonnyO, astral66, MartyM, gramofsam1, samoashark, CTLiberal, third Party please, Kdoug, Joe Bob, Hayate Yagami, Syoho, RFK Lives, BYw, jasan, concernedamerican, eve, tofumagoo, StrayCat, BlueMississippi, tegrat, CorinaR, wader, badlands, Sandino, Yamara, Jeff Y, Liberal Thinking, eleming, WakeUpNeo, eztempo, DirkFunk, elginblt, sodalis, joynow, JimWilson, Umweg, Cat Whisperer, Melanie in IA, rbird, MKinTN, hungeski, redlum jak, scooter in brooklyn, TexDem, miscanthus, Powered Grace, Matt Z, Agathena, flowerfarmer, beverlywoods, Nebraskablue, science nerd, The Hindsight Times, Keone Michaels, MJ via Chicago, bookwoman, Sun Tzu, TKO333, 313to212, jck, ladybug53, Turbonerd, Fe, pixxer, greycat, Mary Mike, Demeter Rising, RainyDay, Captain Chaos, edsbrooklyn
  •  And you can add (66+ / 0-)

    John Muhammed and Lee Malvo, who terrorized us here in the DC - Baltimore metro area over several terrifying weeks in October of 2002.  And you can add the drug gangs that fight it out with each other, with guns, and only very rarely the police, over the control of whole neighborhoods here in Baltimore.  Scarcely a day goes by without someone being shot, and often killed.  These are the young people our society has failed, who have succumbed to the easy availability of guns to control the illicit drug market, and often their victims are children hit by stray bullets.  A teenage girl was shot and killed outside my neighborhood public library earlier this year.

    "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

    by Navy Vet Terp on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 02:54:57 PM PST

  •  A "well-regulated militia"... (35+ / 0-)

    ...would be more in the form of the Britsh Home Guard, back in World War 2. You'd have a standard weapons type, have traning and drilling. be registered (including your weapons and their accesories), and most importatnt of all, be evaluated as to your mental fitness to serve.

    None of the above would have been found to be mentally fit to serve.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 02:57:10 PM PST

    •  however, while it may no longer be true (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, annieli, Sharon Wraight, exlrrp

      several states had "unorganized militias" which were basically every male between the ages of 16 and 65 residing in the state at least in 1984.

      We must be careful of our language in any discussion as militia applies to several very different situations.  For example, militia today immediately connotes to many people, armed RW paramilitary groups, such as the ones which are supposedly doing civilian border patrols.  However, this is not only meaning.

      To attempt to argue that a number of unassociated individuals, other than their notoriety for mass murder would constitute any sort of militia, particularly if those people were in different states and committed their crimes at different times, merely muddies the waters.  The waters are already sufficiently muddy without new contributions

    •  Actually, Congress does regulate the militia (18+ / 0-)

      Article 1 section 8 of the Constitution states that "Congress shall have power ... To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress ..."

      •  Exactly... (16+ / 0-)

        the militia clause in the 2nd Amendment is no enemy of gun control, quite the opposite. If you look at colonial and early national militia regulations at either the state (or colony) and federal levels, there are a host of regulations on types of weaponry, required training, regular inspection of firearms and a host of other measures that are the direct legal equivalents of many of the most common sense modern gun control measures.

        We need to embrace the militia clause as our best tool to outflank the 2nd Amendment cargo cultists. It could easily be the one way we have to get meaningful gun control in place without running afoul of a successful Supreme Court challenge.

        Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzu The Art of War

        by Stwriley on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 07:12:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  "We need to embrace the militia clause..." (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Agathena, nominalize

          We need to #RepealThe2nd Amendment altogether.

          It's an anachronism that is making my community less safe and secure rather than defending me against marauding Injuns or Redcoats, and whatnot.

          •  Just one problem... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nominalize, dragonlady

            it'll never happen in our lifetimes. It's no easy thing to amend the Constitution even when the changes in question are pretty non-controversial (the 25th Amendment springs to mind; it took four years to get that passed and ratified and everyone agreed that it needed to be done.) I appreciate the sentiment behind this move, but it's a quixotic quest at best. We're much better off doing what can be done rather than wasting effort on something that doesn't have a snowball's chance in a microwave.

            Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzu The Art of War

            by Stwriley on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 07:14:59 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Looking at what the founders read.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Stwriley

          ...especially the Enlightenment and Renaissance authors, Machiavelli kinda sticks out.  Most of you know him from the Prince and not from the Discourses and the Art of War.  He was a big, big fan of the Roman republic and the idea of democracy.  He mocked the idea of rulers so afraid of their subjects that they would employ mercenaries rather than establish militias.  I've always viewed the Second Amendment through that lens, that the American military would always be an arm of the people, not a tool for rulers.

          But hey, I'm not Constitutional scholar.  I do know one thing, the founders never intended for the Constitution to be a static document, we can change it according to our present needs.

          Why not rewrite the Second Amendment, make its message clearer.  It's not about private ownership of military-grade weapons, it's about keeping the US military an arm of the American people.

          Tell me what to write. tellmewhattowrite.com 'To know what is right and to do it are two different things.' - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin

          by rbird on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 06:24:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Why not call up the militia? (0+ / 0-)

          And let all those who own guns serve some time in the military?

          Talk about outflanking the 2nd Amendment Cultists.  Give them what they have been asking for. A chance to actually protect and defend -- maybe in Afghanistan, or some such locale.

      •  I always saw our militia as being the Nat'l Guard. (12+ / 0-)

        Well-regulated, standards in equipment and training, can be called up to active duty as needed.

        Not some civilian-run paramilitary force based on fantasy and doomsday fixations. Or to "protect the citizens from the government."

        The government IS us. We The People. The right-wingnuts want a militia to overthrow us.

        Everybody got to elevate from the norm....

        by Icicle68 on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 09:04:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, and.... (9+ / 0-)

          ....individual people with stockpiles of weapons do not a well-regulated militia make.

          Everybody got to elevate from the norm....

          by Icicle68 on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 09:05:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  "Won't someone think of the gun companies?" (5+ / 0-)

            Oh, wait, that would be the NRA's job.

            My mind boggles at the size of some of the gun stockpiles I've read about.  Holy crap, who needs seventeen AR-15s and 30,000 rounds of 5.56 ammo?  Or twenty-two modern semi-auto pistols?  It's one thing to collect antique firearms, but this is all new stuff in the caches I've read about.  I remember laughing at the survivalists in the movie Tremors, but their fantasy weapons stash would be small potatoes to the accumulation of death machines in these caches.

            What's up with this?  This can't be sane.

            Tell me what to write. tellmewhattowrite.com 'To know what is right and to do it are two different things.' - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin

            by rbird on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 06:34:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's it exactly (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JeffW, rbird, downtownLALife, dragonlady

              The NRA exists to protect weapons manufacturers, they don't care a whit about an individual gun owner beyond making sure that said gun owner exists. In order to make profit for the weapons manufacturers.

              Everybody got to elevate from the norm....

              by Icicle68 on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 07:04:01 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  on point- thanks (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Icicle68

                it's about the money- nothing more.

                they knew interest and national focus would wane over time- even the fiscal cliff topics are rapidly overtaking the issue of life and death by guns.
                just look at the daily kos diaries and one gets the idea.

                you show me a place in the constitution that even remotely rationalizes the domestic use of drones armed with 45 caliber weapons-

                 go to washington, get the lobbyists, get the right politicians, get the market- and flood the country with product before the impact of the common good is even considered.

                it's the age of profit over morality.

                one only looks at dan quale's day, george bush sr as vp, the introduction of ssri-s (anti depressants), and the FDA- and one gets the idea.

                oh, the constitution?

                that's just a rationalization for AFTER the product has embedded so deeply that there's nothing that could be done with all the existing drones out there.  

                and drones? yea, that will happen too- already is.

        •  The militia IS the National Guard (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dragonlady

          Federal law renamed the state militias the National Guard in 1903.

    •  If you want a contemporary example: Switzerland. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hayate Yagami, rbird, dragonlady

      If you're going to have an armed populace, at least do it right like they have.

      "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

      by nailbender on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 08:06:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think the gun freaks would like that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dragonlady

        See, they want to play soldier, they don't want to actually be one.  The Swiss model is too serious.

        Swiss men who've finished their year of obligatory military service are issued military rifles to keep at home in case of immediate mobilization, but not the ammunition, which is kept at the base.  Until 2007, they kept a bit of ammo at home, under seal.  After a number of family shootings, however, that policy changed.  In any event, under no circumstances are they allowed to use either without orders.  Even to defend their home in a break in.  Otherwise, they face a court martial.

        And they have to go to the base once a year to demonstrate their shooting abilities.   It's all the responsibility of firearms, with none of the fun.

        Now, the existence of a well-regulated militia doesn't rule out hunting and target shooting, both of which remain popular pastimes in Switzerland.  They manage to have normal gun lifestyles, without the additional gun nuts and freaks and paranoid delusionals that make our gun culture so dangerous.

        Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

        by nominalize on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 07:39:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  And another that is often forgotten... (25+ / 0-)

    The so-called Stockton Massacre occurred on Jan. 17, 1989, beginning around 11:40 a.m. Patrick E. Purdy walked on to school grounds and began shooting while about 400-500 kids were playing at recess. Despite having a criminal record, he had been able to legally purchase the semi-automatic rifle and two pistols used in the attack. Purdy killed five students, injured 29 others and one teacher, and took his own life.

    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

    by reflectionsv37 on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 03:07:15 PM PST

    •  This occurred at Cleveland Elementary School... (15+ / 0-)

      in Stockton, Ca. Stockton has set a new record for homicides with 65 dead so far this year. Nearly all a result of firearms. This in a city of less than 300,000. It must feel like a war zone there.

      Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

      by reflectionsv37 on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 03:18:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  probably mainly suicides (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        reflectionsv37, Tennessee Dave, rbird

        But Stockton went bankrupt, and they don't have many services left, including police.  

        "oh no, not four more years of hope and change?" Karl Christian Rove

        by anna shane on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 03:52:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sadly, mostly murders (12+ / 0-)

          But, yes, Stockton is in a world of financial pain. The police force has been cut at least 25% and now the California Highway Patrol is assisting them in police work.

          Unfortunately, politicians in Stockton brought most of this on themselves. They spent rediculous sums of money never considering that housing prices that rose as much as 300% would come tumbling down in the future. They thought the gravey train would never end.

          I went to high school in Stockton and have family that still lives there. I tried to convince them to sell their homes at the peak, telling them they would never had another opportunity like this in their lifetime. They just wouldn't believe me, thinking it would go on forever. Their homes are now worth 25-30% of what they were in 2007. And that's not likely to change anytime soon.

          Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

          by reflectionsv37 on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 05:03:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  i live not far away (0+ / 0-)

            in a town that is equally stupidly run, a bloated and overpaid police force, headed by a guy who seems to attract law suits to the city as fast as pooh attracts files - he's sexist and dumb.  Unfortunately the elected board knows how to win local elections, just not how to protect our city from lawsuits, or to negotiate sustainable contracts, or to not spend more than is in the budget for things such as studies on projects we'll never be able to fund, not to mention our lawyer bills and what we'll end up losing when we eventually settle the string of law suits accusing our police chief (probably rightly) of various violations.  Our board even started a law suit - against our own garbage company, and so if we win, we haul our own garbage, and if we lose (which is likely), we'll lose big.  

            So Stockton, we'll be there soon.  

            You'd think, but no, it's ready to happen in more towns than you could believe, although I think I'll be living in the poster child for stupid local government. (I won't say the name, the the initials are KENSINGTON.)  

            One more reason to not valorize local government?  

            "oh no, not four more years of hope and change?" Karl Christian Rove

            by anna shane on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:15:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Contrast that with (24+ / 0-)

        New York City, where we have some of the toughest gun laws in the nation.

        We've had 414 murders so far this year (the vast majority gun deaths, of course), with a population of approximately 8.25 million. This works out to about .50 deaths per 100,000. Stockton's rate is 21.65 per 100,000.

         That's over forty times higher. Dont ever let anyone tell you that gun laws don't work.

        "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

        by sidnora on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 05:13:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly!!! (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          caul, Tennessee Dave, blueoasis, sidnora, rbird

          Friends of mine who still live there now describe Stockton as the wild west.

          Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

          by reflectionsv37 on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 05:31:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's not the only thing. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nominalize, reflectionsv37

            But it's the most important, IMO. Even if you have an oppressed, immiserated population (which we here have less than Stockton, I'm sure), they can't easily kill each other and themselves if they don't have the "tools". And however bad things may be, where there's life, there's hope.

            I was discussing travel with a neighbor the other day, and we commented how, when we leave NYC, we have to be on guard now, in ways we didn't used to. I never worry here that if I unwittingly piss someone off, they'll pull out a gun and shoot me. Other parts of the country, not so much anymore.

            "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

            by sidnora on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 06:20:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  And California isn't exactly gun nirvana (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sidnora, reflectionsv37

          but our controls could use some improving.

          "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

          by Sychotic1 on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 11:16:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Do the math again (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nextstep, risasperson, reflectionsv37

          This gives NY state as having a gun murder rate of 4.12/100K
          CA's is  3.25/100K

          Oregon, where I live, has 1.05/100K and we have much more liberal (classic sense of the word) gun laws. Castle state
          And our total homicide rate, 2.1/100K  (get THIS!) is ONLY .2 AWAY FROM SAINTED CANADA'S 1.9!!
          Plus we never make you fill your own gas tank!! AND there's no sale tax!! AND we balance our budget every year!! AND we're an almost  all blue state!!

          Wish the rest of the country would get it together

          Happy just to be alive

          by exlrrp on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 06:22:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I said NYC, (0+ / 0-)

            Not NY state. Our laws in the city are much more stringent than the rest of the state.

            "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

            by sidnora on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 06:38:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Don't forget Australia (4+ / 0-)

          Before 1996, soft gun laws.

          Big mass murder event.

          Outrage.  Tough gun laws established.

          Since 1996, not one mass murder event.

          Gee, I think it is just the guns.

          Tell me what to write. tellmewhattowrite.com 'To know what is right and to do it are two different things.' - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin

          by rbird on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 06:39:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  ask, why a militia, regulated or not? (9+ / 0-)

    That gallery of faces covers all the options, the really stupid and vengeful, the really angry and suicidal, and the really paranoid schizophrenic.   They aren't militia material.

    The ordinary paranoid folk that feel they need military weapons, think they may need them to fight with our own government, it's a kind of mass idea, that at some point the government will infringe so greatly that the only option will be armed revolution.  That is the point behind it.  It doesn't take in to account that infringement is ubiquitous but selective.

    But, they're kidding themselves if they think their little assault weapons could ever stand against our real Army, or our real unmanned drones, whenever they take it too far, some agency quickly takes them down.  We have laws that protect gun owners, but we also have laws against treason.  

     

    "oh no, not four more years of hope and change?" Karl Christian Rove

    by anna shane on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 03:51:30 PM PST

  •  the american revolution (24+ / 0-)

    was fought and won by militias (well, militias essentially assisting the french military, who really won it for the revolutionaries). originally, there was to be no standing army, so a well-regulated militia was thought to be essential for national security. not that context matters...

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 04:37:11 PM PST

    •  ^^ Ding! Ding! Ding! ^^ (nt!) (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laurence Lewis, caul, Tennessee Dave

      "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

      by cotterperson on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 05:13:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And the Minutemen ran home to get their guns. (8+ / 0-)

      The Minutemen weren't packing heat, when the militia was called out, they went home and grabbed their muskets from over the mantle.

      The Revolutionary War was fought partly by militias, as well as by the Continental Army. The Founding Fathers didn't want a peacetime army, and having militias allowed them to disband the army in peacetime, yet still be able to put together an army fairly quickly when needed.

      One of the biggest things to understand is that a militia is not a private army. These organizations who arm themselves to fight against the US Government are not militias.

      The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

      by A Citizen on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 07:39:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  French Navy, thank you. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rbird, cotterperson, Laurence Lewis

      Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

      by dadadata on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 05:04:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  ground troops, too (0+ / 0-)

        at yorktown, cornwallis's sword was offered to the french commander, who then had it given to washington. the british knew who had defeated them.

        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

        by Laurence Lewis on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 09:56:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The British weren't interested in talking with the (0+ / 0-)

          peons.

          There were some French troops at Yorktown, but there were a great many battles and skirmishes won without them.

          Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

          by dadadata on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 10:39:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  not many led by washington (0+ / 0-)

            who went some three years without engaging in a major battle, after monmouth courthouse, repeatedly making excuses about lack of supplies and desertions of men, even as howe and others managed to fight and win battles.

            but the siege strategy at yorktown was from the french. washington had never led a siege and the french had. the french also were paying washington's troops. but washington wanted to fight at new york, not yorktown, and it was de grasse and rochambeau who prevailed.

            The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

            by Laurence Lewis on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 11:00:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  An idea fostered by Machiavelli, along with... (4+ / 0-)

      ...other lovers of the Roman republic.  One could argue that the provisions of the Second Amendment have been met just by allowing qualified American citizens to join the US military.

      That's the point of it, a nation ruled and defended by its citizens.  I suspect that unlimited gun ownership would cause the founders, lovers of the Roman republic every one, to shriek in fright.  "This isn't what we meant, you idiots!  We used the loaded term 'militia' on purpose!  It has a very powerful historical meaning.  Does not one of you morons read a history book or know about the army of the early Roman republic?  Militias have rules, regulations, qualifications for entry, regular drills, officers.  We used that word on purpose!!!"

      Tell me what to write. tellmewhattowrite.com 'To know what is right and to do it are two different things.' - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin

      by rbird on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 06:51:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Also check out (4+ / 0-)

    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” ~ John Kenneth Galbraith

    by Lefty Coaster on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 04:51:16 PM PST

  •  Lanzas autism is unsubstantiated (22+ / 0-)

    and damaging to the many, many non-violent members of the autistic community.

    If he definitely is, then sure i understand why people would mention it.  If it turns out he isn't, it will have been quite reckless association to make and one that will be irreversible in the memories of many.

    Given how many facts I corrected at dinner today I can only imagine how many people already believe he's autistic.

    People, not corporations. Democracy, not totalitarian capitalism. Fuck the NRA.

    by democracy is coming on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 05:02:32 PM PST

  •  The RKBAs get all up in arms about this and say (9+ / 0-)

    that all it means is that arms had to be kept in good working order, and since that is what it meant then we cannot apply any other meaning - even the well thought out explanation in this diary.  (Thanks for the diary.)

    To them I say, if you are such an originalist and nothing can be interpreted in any sense newer than when the Second Amendment was written, then we should truly be originalists and only allow firearms that have the same firepower, rounds and lethality as those in the 18th century.

    That way your 2A can mean just what you want it to mean and we take care of the carnage.  If you insist that firearms are evolving, so then must the 2A and the meaning of "well regulated."

    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 05:13:01 PM PST

  •  Court's reasoning is not coherent (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    caul, madhaus, Judeling, rbird, Agathena, nominalize

    Syntactically, "A well regulated militia being necessary, the right of the people" is not ambiguous. The first phrase is an adverbial: it modifies the verb "keep and bear." How it modifies the verb is conditionally: "So long as we agree that a well disciplined militia is necessary, then it follows on and from this that the citizens should be allowed to keep the arms they get (from serving in the militia) and bear the arms they have."

    The moment we got a standing army, the amendment was violated. Radical Whigs (what the "Founding Fathers" were) saw a standing army is the father of every vice. They had numerous tracts on Rome being done in that way. They had plays to that end. When Thomas Jefferson said that banks are almost as dangerous as a standing army, that tells you how bad the standing army was.

    We didn't have a standing army, either. Effectively, we did not stop with the "Tenth Maine" and "Third Virginia" (state militia) until after the Civil War.

    The regulation does not mean "drill," since the phrase is modifying "keep" and "bear." The "well regulated" must refer to, "One that won't cost us too much money." Since the object of the modifier is "arms," the "regulated" must relate to guns, and the way it does that is, "So we won't have to buy them for the soldiers."

    People complain about dirt, but I'd like to see them make some.

    by The Geogre on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 05:27:06 PM PST

    •  nope. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      exlrrp, Robobagpiper, erush1345

      the first clause isn't conditional, its a factual assertion.  not "if militias are necessary, then the right to guns," but "militias are necessary, therefore the right to guns."

      these two are independent: even if the assertion in clause one is false, the right in clause two must be honored.

      •  Not possible (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Agathena

        I'm sorry, but the first is a phrase, not a clause -- much less an independent clause.

        "A well regulated militia being necessary" lacks a verb. It has a participle (regulated) modifying a noun (militia) and another (being) modifying an adverb (necessary). This makes the whole an adverbial phrase.

        No verb, no independent clause. No independent clause, no separation. As Samuel Johnson would say, "And there's an end on't."

        People complain about dirt, but I'd like to see them make some.

        by The Geogre on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 05:27:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Right! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Robobagpiper, erush1345

          No verb, no subject, no independent clause. So lets pay attention to the part where the verb and the subject is---thats what gives us the meaning of the sentence. without the verb and subject it wod be gibberish.
          Diagramming the sentence shows its meaning and intention:
          .....rights (of the people) to keep and bear arms shall (not) be infringed. You could say anything you wanted in th prefatory clause and it would not change the meaning of the sentence  one iota.
          In its basics thats what the sentence says. you can argue about the meaning of the words but you can't argue with the intention an d meaning of the sentence---its to prohibit the infringement of the right of the people to.....bear arms, NOT to create a militia or allow gunrights only through a militia.
          And on this I have the SCOTUS, the POTUS and the majority of Congress AND America in agreement, and its really RARE to see them all in such agreement. Its an individual right, as perceived in our culture's reality, and its #2 in a list of individual rights.

          but of course theyre all wrong---I'm sure you'll tell us how.

          PArsing the words of the 2d amendment gets nowhere but if you want to waste your time go right ahead.
          Try and get it changed!! There's an amendment process.
          Then you'll be right

          Happy just to be alive

          by exlrrp on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 06:43:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Roar! Snarl! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Agathena

            The introductory adverbial is part of the amendment and sets the condition for what follows.
            IFF militia = "well regulated"
            THEN people(armed)
            THEN people(demobilized)
            ELSE false

            The question is what it means to have it be "well regulated." Gun ownership or retention does not make a militia properly subordinated. It does not make people in the militia polite. What it does is make it "well established/regulated" by government in the sense that no funding will be necessary, no provisioning will be called for, and no billeting will be necessary.

            Oh, and grrrr! hirrrr!
            (Folks'll do what they do, but I do rather know the 18th century.)

            People complain about dirt, but I'd like to see them make some.

            by The Geogre on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 06:51:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You need to study the 21st century (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              erush1345

              I'm sure the 18th century is fascinating (Mozart---love him!) but I'm real sure that the problem lies in the 21st century.

              The introductory adverbial is part of the amendment and sets the condition for what follows.
               IFF militia = "well regulated"
               THEN people(armed)
               THEN people(demobilized)
               ELSE false
              Not exactly sure what that means, don't think it conflicts with what I said, but I know what the sentence I'm referring to above means: The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
              You could have said ANYTHING in the prefatory clause, including "Because we think its cool" or "Wubba wuba wubba" and it would not change the meaning or intention of the sentence at all.

              Like I said---parsing words in the  2d amendment will produce nothing. Its a moot point because the meaning as I explain it is already well ingrained in our society.
              You can change people consciousness!! No Fooling! When I grew up there were NO seat belts, now its the law!! Nobody arguing about that or that itss a restiction on their pursuit of happeniness.!
              You can get the 2d amendment changed!! Hold petition drives and rallies, hootenannies and bake sales! (my favorite: carrot cake)
              you can do it!! I shall watch your future career with great interst

              Happy just to be alive

              by exlrrp on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 07:05:11 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Remember originalists? (0+ / 0-)

                They were the root of this. My comment pertained to their opinion.

                Scalia, and Alito, and to some degree Roberts, believe that the original language of the amendment must be read intensively for intent. They deny the historical changes of the centuries and want to unwrite history. They are, of course, asinine. If they really do want to go to the "original intent," the sentence is plain enough: the right exists because of the need for a militia that will act as a levee. "Regulated," to answer the original diarist's question, can only mean "regulated by the government" rather than "internally ordered."

                SCOTUS's reasoning is, as I said, internally insane.

                People complain about dirt, but I'd like to see them make some.

                by The Geogre on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 07:14:24 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm not a fan of the current SCOTUS (0+ / 0-)

                  Not even the more liberal ones. so I won't quibble with your character judgement there.
                  re: the prefatory phrase. I ask anyone to insert in the prefatory phrase: "Becausse we think its cool" or "Wubba Wubba Wubba" or "Because pigs shit rosebuds and you will find that it does not change the meaning or intention of the sentence at all. Not in the least.
                  If you can substitute "because pigs shit rosebuds" in place of the prefatory clause and nt change the meaning of the sentence in the least (the rights of the people...shall not be infringed)

                  And I'm not saying this shouldn't be changed either, just that trying to re-parse the words over and over again is a waste of time. It'll never come out right for you.
                  Better to go the hootenannies and bake sales route.

                  And BTW, I would like to see an AWB!  But I think the chances  of seeing this president and congress produce one that will prevent the next Adam Lanza is somewhere between zero and.0000000567.
                  Like many other of America's problems, it starts with the lack of real leadership
                  nice talking to you, gotta run. I'll look back later

                  Happy just to be alive

                  by exlrrp on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 07:44:20 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  oops, should reaad (0+ / 0-)

                    If you can substitute "because pigs shit rosebuds" in place of the prefatory clause and nt change the meaning of the sentence in the least (the rights of the people...shall not be infringed) then that phrase is not very important in the sentence

                    Happy just to be alive

                    by exlrrp on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 07:48:19 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  They used the loaded term "militia" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Geogre, dragonlady

          To anyone of that time who was well-read in Enlightenment and Renaissance literature, "militia" has a specific meaning and a context:  the army of the early Roman republic.  This isn't a stretch, since our entire government is modeled after the institutions of the Roman republic.  They had in mind Cincinnatus at his plow, or Horatius at the bridge.  Perhaps the founders remembered the disdain Machiavelli heaped upon rulers so afraid of their subjects that they employed mercenaries rather than establish citizen militias.  But at no time were militias the equivalent of mobs.  They were regulated, with rules, qualifications for entry, and regular drills established at set times.  Violate any of these, and you were out.  Even Horatius was a victim of the rules governing the Roman army.  After his defense of the bridge, he was disabled by his wounds and unable to serve anymore.

          The Second Amendment, in my humble opinion, is about maintaining a citizen army, not about the private ownership of guns.  A nation ruled and defended by its citizens was the goal of the founders...in imitation of the early Roman republic.

          Tell me what to write. tellmewhattowrite.com 'To know what is right and to do it are two different things.' - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin

          by rbird on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 07:15:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Mix of Roman and English levee (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rbird, dragonlady

            Also operative at this time was a newly romanticized version of the old levee. The American Revolution itself had been "volunteer" and "levee" fought, and the Constitution eight years later was already living in a veneration of that effort.

            Another way to see the intent, if we really want to, is by simply looking at how the nation went about its army business later. Again: state militias, state troops, for a long time to come, and "bring your own ballistics."

            People complain about dirt, but I'd like to see them make some.

            by The Geogre on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 07:42:10 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  The second amendment is just so poorly (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chipoliwog, caul, oldpotsmuggler, BYw

    written that it needs amending just to make clear who can and cannot own a gun, which I submit would be most people.

    For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

    by Anne Elk on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 05:34:52 PM PST

    •  That particular discussion will never happen in (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nickrud

      the context of merely attempting to amend the current Second. However, if and when we finally all get together and hold The Second American Constitutional Convention, exactly the conversation you envision must and will take place. I'm not sure what the final outcome would look like, but whatever it is it must and will (by definition) be no more, and no less acceptable than what we now have.

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 07:04:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Second Amendment Got Mangled In The Editing (0+ / 0-)

      journeyman had a nice summary about the 2nd Amenment which apprently really is about being able to resist the US government.  It's an anachronism, and dimbulbs think it's there to kick the kenyan out the White House, but there it is.

      ".................James Madison, who penned the Second Amendment, intended it to placate the fears of those concerned about a strong federal standing army, and argument he had already made in the Federalist 46:

      Extravagant as the supposition is, let it however be made. Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the Fœderal Government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State Governments, with the People on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by Governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops.
      Likewise, Alexander Hamilton, one of the prime champions of the constitution tried to placate those terrified of central authority in the Federalist 29:
      if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist.
      Moreover, when Madison penned the original article in the Bill of Rights, he undoubtedly had the Virginia Declaration of rights in mind.  That document, written principally by George Mason, one of the few attendees to the Constitutional Convention that refused to sign (on the grounds that it did not include sufficient protection against central tyranny, read as follows:
      XIII That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that, in all cases, the military should be under strict subordination to, and be governed by, the civil power.
      The Second Amendment was all about resistance to federal authority and standing armies.  It was indeed about the ability to shoot and kill soldiers of the United States Army.
       It is now a dangerous anachronism and it ought to be repealed.............."

      There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

      by bernardpliers on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 08:53:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  These historical arguments apply to 13 states. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Agathena

        Not to random self-selected citizens. State governments each responsible for a militia trained to common standards.

        The militia was around to repel invasion or put down insurrection.

        The "standing army" issue is a separate one.

        Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

        by dadadata on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 05:10:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  They echo Machiavelli... (0+ / 0-)

        ...in this condemnation of a mercenary (standing) army as a possible tool for tyranny.  The militia in this context is a citizen army in the manner of the early Roman republic.  A muster of qualified, trained citizen-soldiers.  These were men well-educated in history and wished to establish a system that would counter the Sforzas and Mariuses of the world.  It has nothing to do with the private ownership of guns and everything to do with a citizen army.  As I said above, this is all about the dream of a nation ruled and defended by its citizens.

        Tell me what to write. tellmewhattowrite.com 'To know what is right and to do it are two different things.' - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin

        by rbird on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 07:26:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  interesting history (or not, who knows) (3+ / 0-)

    My ancestors, the Scots-Irish, are sometimes credited with the inspiration for the Second Amendment.

    Most recently, I was half-watching the Smithsonian Channel's special on Scots-Irish, "Born Fighting," I think, and listened as they explained the history of the militias in along the spine of the east coast colonies (Appalachians, etc.)

    I then searched to confirm it, but anything second-amendment related is too full of hype, hysteria and blind allegiance to a long-gone fantasy of mythical "rugged individualism."

    The core of the problem, as others point out much better than I can, is how the amendment is interpreted.

    I do own firearms. I'm not sure why, other than target shooting and hunting. I've not had the time to hunt as much as I would like though. I'm more than prepared for laws that significantly limit the capacity and capability of personally owned firearms. I do understand that the domestic "guns that made America" as so many 2nd Amendment defenders love to pine about were not capable of accurately firing 30 or more rounds quickly, with little experience or training. Those guns were tools of a frontier. You needed one like you needed a shovel, rope, a mule, seeds, a plow, and an axe.

    However, I fear a tipping point has been reached in terms of our culture. Any hint of a collective citizenry reaching for even one simple common goal appears to have been permanently abandoned.

    As our own history appears to be repeating itself.

  •  Not really. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sensetolisten, erush1345

    Congress has the power to regulate the militia.
    Congress is prohibited from banning arms.
    If Congress fails to adequately execute the powers that it has, this does not empower Congress to do the things that are expressly forbidden to it.

    States' rights? Corporate rights? Militia rights? Government rights? Hell no! Only individuals have rights. Proud lifelong human supremacist.

    by happymisanthropy on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 06:21:18 PM PST

  •  all right (8+ / 0-)
    Are these members of a "militia" that any sane person would consider "well-regulated?"
    By law, males between the ages of 18-45 are members of the militia.
    Are they well regulated?  Congress has not seen fit to establish standards for the general militia.  So, no.
    Who is responsible for the regulation of this militia?
    Congress is responsible for establishing standards for the militia.  The states are responsible for ensuring these standards are implemented.
    Thus, the Second Amendment provides a flawed and unreasonable justification for the rights of citizens to own guns.
    Since the right exists, no justification for it is necessary.  The law is the law.
    Until this legal quandry is resolved, I assert that there are NO rights "to keep and bear arms," and that infringement is the responsibility of Congress.  In failing to infringe in this way, Congress is compromising our nation's security.
    Bullshit.
    If people were abusing the first amendment, would that make it null and void until Congress came up with a better way of restricting who is allowed to say what?

    States' rights? Corporate rights? Militia rights? Government rights? Hell no! Only individuals have rights. Proud lifelong human supremacist.

    by happymisanthropy on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 06:31:16 PM PST

  •  I've stated here many times that we should (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sensetolisten, Massconfusion

    have a Swiss-style militia, which is well-regulated. Training and license. Yearly qualification shoots to prove ability, etc.

    I keep seeing diary after diary asking similar questions, and I (and a few others) keep trying to engage, but people don't seem to be ready for answers or dialogue; they're more interested in shouting. Maybe they're still hepped up and angry, fine, I can wait. But then, that seems to be the way of things for political discourse across the entire country these days, for every subject matter.

    Oh, well.

  •  If the conditional phrase is... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pimutant, JosephK74

    ...dependent on a "well regulated militia" then perhaps we're going about this the wrong way.

    How about making it a requirement that anyone who currently owns, or wishes to purchase, any military style weaponry become a member of the National Guard?

    Upon the purchase of the weapon, they would have to report to basic training, including in depth safety training in order to pick up their weapons.

    Monthly drills, service to the local community in the event of natural disaster and the possibility of being called up for deployment into combat would be a fair price to pay for the ownership of what is essentially military grade hardware.

    "It's never too late to have a happy childhood." - Tom Robbins - Political Compass sez: -8.25, -7.90

    by ARS on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 06:46:25 PM PST

    •  the militia (4+ / 0-)

      has never been limited to the guard. Are you a male, between 17 and 45? Then you're in the militia, whether or not you care to be.
      http://www.law.cornell.edu/...

      10 USC § 311 - Militia: composition and classes

       (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.  

       (b) The classes of the militia are—  
       (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and  

       (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

      Since the ages in that law can be changed at any time, everyone from 1 to 90 should have an assault weapon at hand, Just In Case.

      47 is the new 51!

      by nickrud on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 07:07:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Guess that means all women (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DefendOurConstitution

        and anyone over 45 isn't allowed to have a weapon.

        "Human beings make life so interesting. Do you know, that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to invent boredom. " - Death (Terry Pratchett character)

        by Thorby Baslim on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 09:39:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  In fact the contrary (0+ / 0-)

          The legal tradition is that, at one point, all households were required to maintain a firearm, whether there was someone eligible for militia service or not.

          The prefatory clause explains the need for the operative. It does not make the right contained in the operative conditional on it. It has precedent in similar clauses in state constitutions.

          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 Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 06:54:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  It goes deeper than that. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    concernedamerican, Sandino, rbird

    The Second Amendment clearly supports the existence of "a well-regulated militia" for no other reason than "to maintain the security of a free state."  If the duly-elected government of a sovereign State does not officially recognize a specific individual as being an official member of that State's militia, then the Second Amendment does not apply to that individual's RKBA.

    I count even the single grain of sand to be a higher life-form than the likes of Sarah Palin and her odious ilk.

    by Liberal Panzer on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 07:11:46 PM PST

  •  If you read the literature, part of what a lot (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tennessee Dave, dragonlady

    of these killers want is notoriety, attention -- fame.  They can't see any other way to get it.  

    I understand that you're making a point here, but I think we should forget their names.  Say, "Oh yeah, the loser that [did shooting x]."  

    As Gavin deBecker wrote in The Gift of Fear, these guys want fear and respect.  The best response is to give them our forgetfulness contempt.

    © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

    by cai on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 07:35:46 PM PST

  •  Those pictures are worth 1,000 words ... (3+ / 0-)

    Powerful diary, thank you.

    "The Internet is the Public Square of the 21st Century"- Sen. Al Franken

    by Kdoug on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 07:57:13 PM PST

  •  Muster lists (0+ / 0-)

    As I've said in another thread and has been mentioned in this thread, we need to tie these control measures to the power to regulate the militia. Asserting an existing power will force the interpretation and amend the ruling in practice.

    A good place to start are muster lists. As it is important for a well regulated militia to have a measure of the amount and nature of the arms and ammunition available to it. I would not think it unreasonable to require gun owners to provide answers to a yearly census. Additionally it would seem to me that all purchases and transfers would have to be recorded. As the a militia would have to form around some seed and that seed would in practice be the local constabulary these lists would have to be available to local law enforcement and the states.

    The system needed to maintain these lists would be funded by a tax on the sales of arms and ammunition.

    Now we would begin to get a handle on the problem. The NRA will scream bloody murder about registration. But we would have a great base for background checks and cross border tracking of gun movement.

    This does not need to be entirely adversarial. Licensed facilities could offer arms and ammunition tax free for training. Thus ranges would develop to provide this service and market forces will drastically reduce the amount of ammunition at home.

    •  Guess what-you are already a member of the militia (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Robobagpiper

      Muster roles are interesting but they already exist.  They are tax and driver's lic. roles.

      US Code 10 ch 13 states-

       "(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
      (b) The classes of the militia are--
      (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
      (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia."

      So by law, every male (and probably female for current usage) between the ages of 17 and 45 is already a member of the unorganized militia and could be called up in a national emergency.  As the laws and regulations are already on the books and part of National Command Structure's planning; it could be argued- under the strict Constitutional construction that many here argue- that said militia is "well regulated" and each member of said milita should be armed.

      You ready to go and buy a rifle?

      Be careful arguing the "milita" phrase.  With the current court, such a reading is not out of reach.

      R

  •  Well, To Answer Your Question (0+ / 0-)

    It ought to be regulated at the county level. That's where it makes sense to gather the gun owners from the area and drill them. I think that's consistent with the intent of the Constitution.

    As I've pointed out elsewhere, we need to get these people together regularly to inform them on what's expected in the event of a disaster, and drill them.

    I think if the people in your rogues gallery had been regularly held up for examination by their communities there would have been a lot of lives saved.

  •  The "strongest argument" is romantic bullshit (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dadadata, DefendOurConstitution

    The "strongest argument" AGAINST any control or regulation of weapons of mass death is our 2nd Amendment.

    And, as many able diarists have pointed out, it's not even the 2nd Amendment as written and intended, back when the revered Founders penned it and won local power brokers' votes by their craven political move by including it in the Bill of Rights.

    No, the strongest argument AGAINST gun controls is a political tactic of deflecting any real discussion of reasonable restriction on weapons ownership into a "Chapter and Verse" discussion of Constitutional Law among a politically active "opinion leader" group of gun enthusiasts that have little real knowledge of Constitutional Law, but just toss grenades into any conversation about reasonable restrictions by invoking a vague, contradictory, but revered Bill of Rights provision.

    And, it's all a bullshit distraction from the real discussion we need to have about making America a safer, less deadly country to live in.

    We need to accept the fact that the 2nd Amendment was written by politicians that wanted to get the damn Constitution passed, and realize that those rich guys were no more "divinely inspired" than our current crop of rule-writers.  What they wrote and got passed can be changed to fit changed circumstances.

    We don't need to "reinterpret" the meaning of the words of the 2nd Amendment -- we can just repeal the damned thing.

    ...no guns will be confiscated. ...no laws will be changed. ...no White Guys will have to go out and kill Federal Officers or American Military personnel in order to protect themselves from tyranny.

    In fact, nothing will be changed with the repeal of the 2nd Amendment.

    Nothing will be changed except the distracting and irrelevant "chapter & verse" blah-blah-blah of a Court process divining the "intent" of flawed men trying to pass a goddam Constitution that might work for a while, back int the 1780s.

    There's nothing more sacred about the "well organized militia; right to bear arms" Amendment than there was about the 3/5 of a human that anyone of African ancestry was, back when these revered Talmudic Scholars crafted "the most perfect document", or whatever the fuck gun nuts think happened, back then.

  •  The problem with the 2nd Amendment (0+ / 0-)

    is this line:

    being necessary to the security of a free state
    We keep buying more and more guns, and yet we keep getting less and less free.
        Something is wrong with this assumption.

      OTOH, the 2nd Amendment meant militia, and militia meant people who weren't part of the government. Simple as that.

    ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

    by gjohnsit on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 05:57:13 AM PST

  •  You're questioning the wrong part (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ClevelandAttorney
    A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
    The real question is why are these militia's "necessary to the security of a free state"? Recognizing that The Constitution did not provide for a permanent standing army, these militia's were necessary, at the time. However, once the US Government decided on maintaining a permanent military, these militia's were no longer necessary, and the 2nd amendment should have been repealed.

    I'm no philosopher, I am no poet, I'm just trying to help you out - Gomez (from the song Hamoa Beach)

    by jhecht on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 07:21:10 AM PST

    •  I'd say each part is inseperable (0+ / 0-)

      Well regulated Militia (for two of three interpretive theories) demonstrate there is no right to bear arms.

      And looking at how used, well regulated militia was important.

      During the first two decades following the ratification of the Second Amendment, public opposition to standing armies, among Anti-Federalists and Federalists alike, persisted and manifested itself locally as a general reluctance to create a professional armed police force, instead relying on county sheriffs, constables and night watchmen to enforce local ordinances.[100] Though sometimes compensated, often these positions were unpaid—held as a matter of civic duty. In these early decades, law enforcement officers were rarely armed with firearms, using clubs as their sole defensive weapon.[100] In serious emergencies, a posse comitatus, militia company, or group of vigilantes assumed law enforcement duties; these individuals were more likely than the local sheriff to be armed with firearms.[100]
      On May 8, 1792, Congress passed "[a]n act more effectually to provide for the National Defence, by establishing an Uniform Militia throughout the United States" requiring:
         [E]ach and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia...[and] every citizen so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch with a box therein to contain not less than twenty-four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball: or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder; and shall appear, so armed, accoutred and provided, when called out to exercise, or into service, except, that when called out on company days to exercise only, he may appear without a knapsack.[101]
      •  3 interpretive theories mention above (0+ / 0-)

        Three basic competing models were offered to interpret the Second Amendment:[117]

            The first, known as the "states' rights" or "collective rights" model, was that the Second Amendment did not apply to individuals; rather, it recognized the right of a state to arm its militia.

            The second, known as the "sophisticated collective rights model", held that the Second Amendment recognized some limited individual right. However, this individual right could only be exercised by members of a functioning, organized state militia while actively participating in the organized militia’s activities.

            The third, known as the "standard model", was that the Second Amendment recognized the personal right of individuals to keep and bear arms.

        Under both of the collective rights models, the opening phrase was considered essential as a pre-condition for the main clause.[118] These interpretations held that this was a grammar structure that was common during that era[119] and that this grammar dictated that the Second Amendment protected a collective right to firearms to the extent necessary for militia duty

  •  You have the correct angle. Approach it (0+ / 0-)

    using the "well regulated" argument. It's "bullet proof", so to speak. It's right there, gun nuts can't argue about it, and it's only two words - not enough for the average gun nut to twist (until they have the appropriate weasel words given them from on high (NRA)).

    Send conservatives to FilthyLiberal.com for re-education.

    by filthyLiberalDOTcom on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 07:35:35 AM PST

  •  This is a great diary. Mahalo. Important thread. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    newpioneer
  •  This Is Not an Issue of Local Pride (0+ / 0-)

    ...but I really feel like Roderick Dantzler belongs on your list.

    Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

    by TooFolkGR on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 08:00:08 AM PST

  •  Isn't the constitution a "living document?" (0+ / 0-)

    I mean, human culture, technological knowledge and national identities and on and on infinitum, change over a period of time.  These changes need to be incorporated into the rules we live by methinks?

    Does one need to be a "rocket scientist" to understand that we are evolving on many levels and need to adjust accordingly?  Simple.

    •  If you mean to imply that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Keone Michaels

      the Militia part is extinct. Perhaps. As part of the reason some acts requiring ownership etc were in affect is you had a Marshall with a club.

      Now. We have police, etc.

      But you can't line it out (unless you're the SCOTUS in Heller) so it's almost a moot point.

      So the Strict Constructionists saved the day in Heller?

      Scalia:

      Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms
      As the SCOTUS statement is the law (yet they are not activists= nor in the establishment clause are). If you did it would have no meaning the whole clause.

      Why wouldn't they undertake?

      In Federalist No. 29, Alexander Hamilton suggested that well-regulated refers not only to "organizing", "disciplining", and "training" the militia, but also to "arming" the militia:

          This desirable uniformity can only be accomplished by confiding the regulation of the militia to the direction of the national authority. It is, therefore, with the most evident propriety, that the plan of the convention proposes to empower the Union "to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by congress."[48]

          A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, or even a week, that will suffice for the attainment of it. To oblige the great body of the yeomanry, and of the other classes of the citizens, to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well-regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people, and a serious public inconvenience and loss.[48]

          "If a well regulated militia be the most natural defence of a free country, it ought certainly to be under the regulation and at the disposal of that body which is constituted the guardian of the national security...confiding the regulation of the militia to the direction of the national authority...(and) reserving to the states...the authority of training the militia"

      Or Historically in practice:
      The first test of the militia system occurred in July 1794, when a group of disaffected Pennsylvania farmers rebelled against federal tax collectors whom they viewed as illegitimate tools of tyrannical power.[104] Attempts by the four adjoining states to raise a militia for nationalization to suppress the insurrection proved inadequate. When officials resorted to drafting men, they faced bitter resistance. Forthcoming soldiers consisted primarily of draftees or paid substitutes as well as poor enlistees lured by enlistment bonuses. The officers, however, were of a higher quality, responding out of a sense of civic duty and patriotism, and generally critical of the rank and file.[105] Most of the 13,000 soldiers lacked the required weaponry; the war department provided nearly two-thirds of them with guns.[105] In October, President George Washington and General Harry Lee marched on the 7,000 rebels who conceded without fighting. The episode provoked criticism of the citizen militia and inspired calls for a universal militia. Secretary of War Henry Knox and President John Adams had lobbied Congress to establish federal armories to stock imported weapons and encourage domestic production.[105] Congress did subsequently pass "[a]n act for the erecting and repairing of Arsenals and Magazines" on April 2, 1794, two months prior to the insurrection.[106] Nevertheless, the militia continued to deteriorate and twenty years later, the militia's poor condition contributed to several losses in the War of 1812, including the sacking of Washington, D.C. and the White House being burned down in 1814.[103]
      Or "Historically how it was meant"?
         he first, known as the "states' rights" or "collective rights" model, was that the Second Amendment did not apply to individuals; rather, it recognized the right of a state to arm its militia.

          The second, known as the "sophisticated collective rights model", held that the Second Amendment recognized some limited individual right. However, this individual right could only be exercised by members of a functioning, organized state militia while actively participating in the organized militia’s activities.

          The third, known as the "standard model", was that the Second Amendment recognized the personal right of individuals to keep and bear arms.

      Under both of the collective rights models, the opening phrase was considered essential as a pre-condition for the main clause.[118] These interpretations held that this was a grammar structure that was common during that era[119] and that this grammar dictated that the Second Amendment protected a collective right to firearms to the extent necessary for militia duty.[120]

      I digress it is just bullshit that they completely made up the law in Heller and the Chi Case(s).

      Now what Scalia says IS the interpretation of the law. Nothing we say matters unless you get the SCOTUS to agree, as it was debated.

      Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority in Heller, stated:

          Nowhere else in the Constitution does a “right” attributed to “the people” refer to anything other than an individual right. What is more, in all six other provisions of the Constitution that mention “the people,” the term unambiguously refers to all members of the political community, not an unspecified subset. This contrasts markedly with the phrase “the militia” in the prefatory clause. As we will describe below, the “militia” in colonial America consisted of a subset of “the people”— those who were male, able bodied, and within a certain age range. Reading the Second Amendment as protecting only the right to “keep and bear Arms” in an organized militia therefore fits poorly with the operative clause’s description of the holder of that right as “the people”.[126]

      Justice John Paul Stevens countered in his dissent:

          When each word in the text is given full effect, the Amendment is most naturally read to secure to the people a right to use and possess arms in conjunction with service in a well-regulated militia. So far as appears, no more than that was contemplated. But the Court itself reads the Second Amendment to protect a “subset” significantly narrower than the class of persons protected by the First and Fourth Amendments; when it finally drills down on the substantive meaning of the Second Amendment, the Court limits the protected class to “law-abiding, responsible citizens”.[127]

      What people have to go with is no longer the language of the Second Amendment, but what was said in Heller. Or what was left (including the Commerce Clause ie regulating interstate sale, etc.). .
       
  •  Well-regulated militia (0+ / 0-)

    This is simply a reference to the status quo ante, the Articles of Confederation:

    every State shall always keep up a well-regulated and disciplined militia, sufficiently armed and accoutered, and shall provide and constantly have ready for use, in public stores, a due number of field pieces and tents, and a proper quantity of arms, ammunition and camp equipage
  •  Why not "call up the militia?" (0+ / 0-)

    Since the reason to own and carry guns is to serve in the well-regulated militia, it follows that those who own and carry guns belong to said militia.  

    Since the purpose of the militia is to defend the nation, why not call up the militia (that is, all those who carry guns) and let them serve some time actually defending the nation?

  •  The problem is that people with known mental... (0+ / 0-)

    ...health problems (see above) have access to firearms. Anyone who has repeatedly threatened suicide, threatened others, or actually attacked another person should be reported to local authorities by a competent mental health professional, and denied further access to guns until the problem is resolved. This intervention can be done in a low key way by non uniformed officials. In virtually every mass shooting incident I am aware of there was plenty of advance warning to the health professionals involved, but currently patient privacy trumps public safety. Our laws need to change to treat this problem the way we handle the terrorist no fly list. People can be added to the "no gun list" for good cause without judicial oversight subject to appeal if authorities over step reasonable bounds. The idea that people will refuse to seek mental health assistance out of fear of losing their guns is not a reasonable objection to this approach. In the vast majority of cases these troubled individuals are well known in advance of their tragic actions, and this will not change. What will change is their access to guns, and their ability to murder scores of innocents.

    Republicans. Like Romney himself, they have so much and always will, and yet they resent those who have so little and always will.

    by wishbone on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 11:58:41 AM PST

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