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Why the 2nd Amendment protects a 'well-regulated militia' but not a private citizen militia

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By Eliga Gould

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Wrong. The 2nd Amendment was written to ensure citizens could protect them selves from a tyrannical government.

The Bill of Rights was written to protect individuals liberties, and to define governments roles in everyday life.

During recent riots and social unrest, the government's own "well regulated militias" were unwilling and ineffective at protecting anyone and anything, leaving citizens to defend themselves.

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The 2nd Amendment was written to ensure citizens could protect them selves from a tyrannical government.

And how many times have guns been used by american citizens to "protect themselves from a tyrannical governement", exactly? It seems they're only used to violentely murder other americans. And kids in schools.

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The 2nd Amendment was written to ensure citizens could protect them selves from a tyrannical government.

Where is that enunciated and written?

The Bill of Rights was written to protect individuals liberties, and to define governments roles in everyday life.

Actually it was to limit government powers more than define roles.

During recent riots and social unrest, the government's own "well regulated militias" were unwilling and ineffective at protecting anyone and anything, leaving citizens to defend themselves.

Only three crimes are listed: treason, piracy and counterfeiting. Everything else, including policing and protection is left to the states.

Regardless, the people with the guns are not members of a well regulated militia.

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During recent riots and social unrest, the government's own "well regulated militias" were unwilling and ineffective at protecting anyone and anything, leaving citizens to defend themselves.

Defended against whom?

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Peter NeilToday  10:48 am JST

The 2nd Amendment was written to ensure citizens could protect them selves from a tyrannical government.

Where is that enunciated and written?

“As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.” – Tench Coxe, Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789

Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.” – William Pitt (the Younger), Speech in the House of Commons, November 18, 1783

The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.” – Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Cartwright, 5 June 1824

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Those are neat opinion pieces, one of which from someone who isn't American, but I think Peter Neil is asking about the law as written in the Second Amendment. Can you find the specific enunciation that he is referring to in that amendment?

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If the founding fathers had a time machine and saw that there were between 30k and 40k gun deaths per year in the US, they would amend the Constitution on the spot.

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Express sisterToday  11:31 am JST

Those are neat opinion pieces, one of which from someone who isn't American, but I think Peter Neil is asking about the law as written in the Second Amendment. Can you find the specific enunciation that he is referring to in that amendment?

Can you define specific enunciation? And wasn't Thomas Jefferson a founding father?

The Second amendment became an amendment after listening to neat opinions by founding fathers, like Thomas Jefferson. And an understanding of the purpose of the declaration of independence is required to see how the origin of Bill of Rights

Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence of the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. 

In basic terms, Hamilton enunciated that in order to eliminate the threat that the government militia might pose to freedom, it was necessary for the public to be able to stop any attempt of the government to suppress freedom and therefore important that the public at large should hold firearms. 

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. **Alexander Hamilton,** Federalist No. 28, January 10, 1788

Pretty straight forward.

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Except that you wrote nothing from the Constitution.

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More neat opinions. No laws.

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Anyone who claims constitutional law is pretty straight forward clearly doesn’t understand constitutional law.

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And how many times have guns been used by american citizens to "protect themselves from a tyrannical governement

They were used to overthrow one in 1775. Anyway, how many times has your house burned down? If the answer is one (or none even), does that mean you should get rid of your smoke alarms and fire exinguishers?

If the founders were alive today, I believe they would be very concerned – because the Constitution is clear that the only militias protected by the Second Amendment are “well-regulated” units authorized and controlled by state governments, not a private citizen militia.

Depends on the definition of 'well-regulated'. Does that mean under a specific command structure and regularly drilled, or simply armed appropriately and able to muster? In most states in colonial America, all able-bodied men were considered to be part of the militia. And I'm not so sure how the founders would feel today. There were state constitutions penned before the Bill of Rights that recognised the formation of private militias. Pennsylvania's (1790) said "the right of the citizens to bear arms in defence of themselves and the State shall not be questioned," and Vermont's, (1777), said "the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State." Also, groups of citizens often banded together for defense of towns and homesteads against natives, and played important roles in the French and Indian Wars.

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Peter NeilToday  12:56 pm JST

Except that you wrote nothing from the Constitution.

The Bill of Rights is from the Constitution.

Express sisterToday  01:05 pm JST

More neat opinions. No laws.

The Constitution is the law. Of. The. Land.

The 2008 case District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court held that the "Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home."

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The Constitution is the law. Of. The. Land.

The 2008 case District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court held that the "Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home."

You are not educating anyone that the constitution is the basis of our law.

Cool citation of a case from over a decade ago that's not federal law, my dude. Real quick, how does that accord with your opinion piece that citizens must be required to carry firearms? The one you quoted. Like, it doesn't say here that people must carry guns. But you quoted an opinion that they should, as evidence. Should I be prosecuted for not leaving the house with a gun, in your view? If not, why not? You made an argument that I have duty to do so. If you're telling me I cannot do something, how are you not restricting my freedom?

I'm happy to wait for my answer.

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Well, thankfully the 2nd amendment isn’t going anywhere, so that’s a big sigh of relief.

Anyone who claims constitutional law is pretty straight forward clearly doesn’t understand constitutional law.

Kind of is actually, that’s why it’s been hard on Dems to eradicate or amend it.

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Kind of is actually, that’s why it’s been hard on Dems to eradicate or amend it.

there have actually been several amendments to the US constitution. You literally quoted the second in your post. It is an amendment. Do you know what the US constitution is, or what its amendments are?

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there have actually been several amendments to the US constitution.

Yes, very true, but that won’t happen to the 2nd amendment, now if the Dems want to kill their future chances for Congress and the Presidency, they should try it, but they won’t for all their bluster.

You literally quoted the second in your post. It is an amendment. Do you know what the US constitution is, or what its amendments are?

Rhetorical question?

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Express sisterToday  02:09 pm JST

You are not educating anyone that the constitution is the basis of our law. 

Then why are you misinterpreting the law?

Cool citation of a case from over a decade ago that's not federal law, my dude.

Dude--The Constitution is federal law. The court case interprets it.

Real quick, how does that accord with your opinion piece that citizens must be required to carry firearms?

I never said that.

The one you quoted. Like, it doesn't say here that people must carry guns. But you quoted an opinion that they should, as evidence.

Wrong again. And if you consider the Federalist papers "opinion", well, that is charming.

Here is the quote again---pick out the line that says "people must carry guns" ---happy to wait for your answer as you argue with Hamilton:

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. ***Alexander Hamilton*,** Federalist No. 28, January 10, 1788

Should I be prosecuted for not leaving the house with a gun, in your view? If not, why not? You made an argument that I have duty to do so. If you're telling me I cannot do something, how are you not restricting my freedom?

I'm happy to wait for my answer.

You misunderstood, misinterpreted. A basic understanding of the US Constitution is kind of a prerequisite for this type of discussion.

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The correct interpretation hinges on the comma after the initial clause of the 2nd Amendment, meaning that gun ownership should not be denied to anyone who is part of a well regulated militia, which in those times were neighbors banded together for common defense. There are now a multitude of armed groups under the oversight of local, state and federal authorities, and no need for local militias for collective defense of law enforcement. Militia members now instead claim that they need their weapons to protect them from the federal govt, ZOG, the one-world movement, and in doing so reveal that they are seditionist, anti-government forces.

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 citizens have a right to own a private assault weapon not just for defense of a gun owner’s home, but also for “citizens’ militias” engaged in homeland defense.

expatToday  03:07 pm JST

The correct interpretation hinges on the comma after the initial clause of the 2nd Amendment, meaning that gun ownership should not be denied to anyone who is part of a well regulated militia, which in those times were neighbors banded together for common defense. There are now a multitude of armed groups under the oversight of local, state and federal authorities, and no need for local militias for collective defense of law enforcement. Militia members now instead claim that they need their weapons to protect them from the federal govt, ZOG, the one-world movement, and in doing so reveal that they are seditionist, anti-government forces.

Not in California.

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Cool citation of a case from over a decade ago that's not federal law, my dude. 

No, you're obfuscating. The Heller decision provides the current federal interpretation of the Second Amendment as to who has the right to bear arms. It was decided in Heller that it protects a right to possess a firearm unconnected to military service and that individuals are free to use such weapons for “traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home,” as stated in this article. And later in McDonald vs Chicago (2010) the Supreme Court ruled that the right to bear arms extended to state and local government as well as federal. That's not in dispute.

Any laws on the books denying that right ecould be struck off as unconstitutional if challenged, as happened in California. Subject to appeal.

The question raised by this case is the one about militias. Is 'every able bodied male over the age of 17' a militia member, or only national guards.

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Yes, very true, but that won’t happen to the 2nd amendment, now if the Dems want to kill their future chances for Congress and the Presidency, they should try it, but they won’t for all their bluster.

While I'm sure that this would have been your argument for the validity of the 18th amendment, the 21st amendment was actually good. Consider it.

Rhetorical question?

Yes.

Then why are you misinterpreting the law?

I am not.

Dude--The Constitution is federal law. The court case interprets it.

You cited a decision from a court circuit, which may not be the correct interpretation. Do you understand how the US legal system works? It's fine if you don't. Most people aren't lawyers.

I never said that.

Oh, weird, I could have sworn that you cited:

it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.” – Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Cartwright, 5 June 1824

But I guess I'm looking at an imaginary post.

Wrong again.

Sorry, I'm right.

Here is the quote again---pick out the line that says "people must carry guns" ---happy to wait for your answer as you argue with Hamilton:

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. **Alexander Hamilton,** Federalist No. 28, January 10, 1788

I'm arguing with a quote you gave from Jefferson. And now you're giving me a different quote? Come on, friend. Try and keep it straight.

But if Hamilton is your go-to, I suppose you must agree with his proposition that cabinet positions be inherited, like a Lordly, British system. Am I right?

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To clarify: what do you think it means to say: 

that [the people] may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed

What do you think a duty is?

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Kind of is actually, that’s why it’s been hard on Dems to eradicate or amend it.

Understanding constitutional law and changing the constitution see two different things. Nice demonstration of your understand.

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xpress sisterToday  04:03 pm JST

> What do you think a duty is?

Not sure to what you are referring because again, the quote I supplied is below and there is no mention of duty.

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. ***Alexander Hamilton*,** Federalist No. 28, January 10, 1788

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The Federalist Papers aren’t part of the constitution.

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Not sure to what you are referring because again, the quote I supplied is below and there is no mention of duty.

That's not the quote I'm asking about. I'm asking about the quote you gave from Jefferson. If you had read what I wrote, you would understand that. As a reminder, here's the full quote you gave to me:

The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.” – Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Cartwright, 5 June 1824

I'll ask again: what do you think duty means?

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The Federalist Papers aren’t part of the constitution.

This is correct.

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P. SmithToday  04:39 pm JST

The Federalist Papers aren’t part of the constitution.

Define part.

Because the federalist papers give the rationale behind what is written in the Constitution. So if you want to ask, What did the Founder intend when he wrote a certain provision of the Constitution, you can read the Federalist papers and see what they were thinking.

And is a response to the below:

Express sisterToday  11:31 am JST

Can you find the specific enunciation that he is referring to in that amendment?

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You cited a decision from a court circuit, which may not be the correct interpretation. Do you understand how the US legal system works? It's fine if you don't. Most people aren't lawyers.

This isn't my fight, but I think you've mistaken the name of the case (District of Columbia vs Heller) for the court in which it was held, which was the Supreme Court of the United States.

An incorrect interpretation it may be, but it's the one against which related laws should be measured.

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Jeans and T-shirtToday  05:25 pm JST

You cited a decision from a court circuit, which may not be the correct interpretation. Do you understand how the US legal system works? It's fine if you don't. Most people aren't lawyers.

This isn't my fight, but I think you've mistaken the name of the case (District of Columbia vs Heller) for the court in which it was held, which was the Supreme Court of the United States. 

An incorrect interpretation it may be, but it's the one against which related laws should be measured.

Correct, and kind to point that out.

Heller is a very recent Sup. Ct. case on the 2d amendment issue.

And the new California case in this article builds upon that Supt. Ct. holding.

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