Daily Wisdom

April 21, 2007

The Second Amendment

Having been requested to share my views on the Second Amendment, please consider the following. The first quotes were obtained from Wikipedia HERE...

In the early months of 1789, the United States was engaged in an ideological conflict between 'Federalists' who favored a stronger central government and 'Anti-federalists' skeptical of a strong central government.

Intense concerns gripped the country of the potential for success or failure of these newly-formed United States. The first presidential inauguration of George Washington had occurred just a few short weeks earlier.

Anti-federalists supported the proposal to amend the Constitution with clearly-defined and enumerated rights to provide further constraints on the new government, while opponents felt that by listing only certain rights, other unlisted rights would fail to be protected. Amidst this debate, a compromise was reached and James Madison drafted what ultimately would become the United States Bill of Rights and that was proposed to the Congress on June 8, 1789.

The following quotes can be found HERE...

The origin of the Second Amendment... occurred in context of an ongoing debate about "the people" fighting governmental tyranny, (as described by Anti-federalists); or the risk of mob rule of "the people", (as described by the Federalists).

Reaching a compromise between these widely disparate positions was not easy, but nonetheless, a compromise was negotiated with the result being the Second Amendment.

The Second Amendment then, is essentially a compromise between those who favored a strong central government with a standing national army, and those who feared one. In Britain, the general population had been disarmed and were therefore at the mercy of the government. Anti-federalists feared that over time, a strong central government would become corrupt and enslave Americans. In order to prevent this from occuring, they demanded that citizens be allowed to arm themselves against a potential dictator who could command a national army. In this way, they would be able to ensure their new-found freedoms. Here is the text of the Second Amendment...

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.

So then, where... 1) 'Militia' = a body of citizens organized for military service other than that of a standing national army, 2) A 'State' = an individual state within the United States, and 3) 'The People' = individual citizens... then we may interpret this Amendment, as follows:

Each individual state within the United States shall have the right to maintain a militia in order to provide for the security needed to insure its freedom from the Federal government, said militia being "well regulated" (i.e., not disorderly) and composed of individual people who each have the right to keep and bear arms. These individuals will come to the aid of their state when called upon should the Federal government overstep its bounds. [Note: In the late 1700s and early 1800s state militias were loosely knit groups of farmers, hunters, traders and patriots who responded -- sometimes reluctantly -- to a call for action.]

This, I believe, is the interpretation the Anti-federalists would have given to the wording of the Second Amendment.

Alternatively, where... 1) 'Militia' = a national standing army, 2) A 'State' = the United States, and 3) 'The People' = the citizenry as a collective... then we may interpret this Amendment, as follows:

A standing national army is necessary for the United States to provide for the national security in order to protect our freedoms from hostile foreign nations or from insurrection, either by individuals, groups of individuals, or the individual states. It is recognized that said army must be "well regulated" so that it does not infringe on personal freedoms or states' rights. To that end, the citizenry (collectively) shall never be denied the right to maintain a standing national army.

This, I believe, is the interpretation the Federalists would have given to the wording of the Second Amendment.

Hence, a compromise. Both interpretations are equally valid and correct. Both interpretations are inherent in the wording of the compromise. Nevertheless, it should be noted that the Federalists saw no need for a Bill of Rights of which the Second Amendment is a part. In fact, a national army and navy had already been assumed in the Constitution at Section 2, Clause 1 which names the President as the Commander in Chief of those forces. Therefore, the inclusion of the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights, adopted at the urging of the Anti-federalists, lends greater weight to their interpretation.

The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them. --Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Joseph Story, "Commentaries on the U.S. Constitution" 1833

We can conclude then, that the right to keep and bear arms is vested at all levels of government from the Federal, to the state, to the individual. In the case of the Federal and state governments this right is clearly granted for the purpose of self-defense. The Federal government is vested with the right to maintain a standing national army in order to defend the well-being and liberties of its national citizens. Each individual state is likewise vested with the right to maintain a militia in order to defend the well-being and liberties of its state's citizens. Implicitly then, each individual person - upon whom the entire government is founded ("We the people..." --Preamble, United States Constitution) - is vested with the right to keep and bear arms in order to defend the well-being and liberties of each... their country, their state, and ultimately their individual person.

Arguments to the contrary are irrational. To be given the right to defend the well-being and liberties of one's country or one's state without having the right to defend one's personal well-being and liberties is sheer nonsense. Such a stance would suggest that a country or state can be free, while the citizens of said country or state cannot be free.

Since self-defense is the 'Raison d'être' for the right to keep and bear arms at the Federal and state level, it follows logically that self-defense should likewise be the basis for the right to keep and bear arms at the level of the individual citizen. An armed citizen can defend his/her country, his/her state, or his/her individual person. In each and every case, the individual is the ultimate beneficiary of the defensive action. And that is what the Founding Fathers envisioned.

19 Comments:

At 4/21/2007 11:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think where we are wrong is not letting people protect in their home and businesses. the cause is as of ole 'Money talks:
We homeowneners and small businesses are just sitting duck ready do be knocked out by wild idiots to get the notion the notion (1) they need money, yet they are stil too lazy to get and snf mask an honest days wagers
Pastro Ruth Indianalpois,Indiana

 
At 4/22/2007 9:52 AM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Thank you for your comments Ruth.

 
At 4/22/2007 10:12 AM , Blogger Beerme said...

hawkeye®,

Nicely elucidated, my friend!

 
At 4/22/2007 10:30 AM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Thanks Beerme!

(:D) Best regards...

 
At 4/22/2007 5:00 PM , Anonymous Hankmeister said...

Hawkeye, I get really frustrated with those who live in the media echo chamber. They invariably claim the Second Amendment is a "collective right". As you well know that simply isn't true given what we do know about founding opinion. And it's very clear that in the Bill of Rights when an amendment speaks of "the People's right", the constitutional architects were speaking of individual rights. No leftist/collectivist, for example, will argue that the First Amendment is to be only understood as a collective right ... it's an individual right. Eight of the original ten amendments were worded in this manner ... "the right of the People".

As to the willful ignorance of those who argue that the phrase, "a well-regulated militia" refers to something approaching a National Guard is pathetic at best. First, the term well-regulated during the founding period didn't mean government regulated but rather individuals who were well-supplied, in this case, with rifle, ball and powder. They were self-regulated.

Also, if the founders had meant something other than individual male citizens of military age, they would have used the term "state militia", "organized militia" or "select militia". Even in the federal statutes and most state statutes "the militia" is understood to mean any male private citizen roughly between the ages of 17 and 45. But being the liberals that the founders were, they believed any sane, able-bodied man was a member of the unorganized militia under the Second Amendment

TITLE 10 > Subtitle A > PART I > CHAPTER 13 > § 311

§ 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.

 
At 4/22/2007 5:06 PM , Anonymous Hankmeister said...

BTW, my comments don't in any way conflict with yours. It's simply a different layer of understanding which supports the central truth to which you and I both subscribe. Truth is that way, there are multiple means to reaffirm truth, whereas lies and distortions cannot interlock in such a manner without generating some apparent contradiction.

 
At 4/22/2007 5:35 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Hankmeister,
Thanks for your thoughts. Good stuff as usual. More "ammo" for the argument, eh?

(:D) Best regards...

 
At 4/22/2007 9:53 PM , Anonymous R.A.M. said...

Hey Hawkeye!

The libs want to protect all the things they "say" is in the Constitution, (murdering babies, separation of Church and State, etc.), yet want to take away the 2nd Amendment which is CRYSTAL CLEAR in it's meaning.

They ONLY want to protect our Constitution when it agrees with them, or rather they THINK it agrees with them.

Nothing new here!

The very thing they, (the liberals), would take away, (a gun), would have, (in the hands of one of the students or professors), would have saved lives!

The FACT that people like Rosie O'Donnell is so against guns, yet her body guards "pack", shows they don't even mind looking like the fools they are!

 
At 4/22/2007 10:06 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

R.A.M.,
Don't even get me started about the libs and how hypocritical they are. We could be here all night!

(:D) Best Regards...

 
At 4/23/2007 2:47 AM , Anonymous Elroy said...

Ah, spoken like a true activist!

Hank, you say 'the term well-regulated during the founding period didn't mean government regulated but rather individuals who were well-supplied, in this case, with rifle, ball and powder.'

Could you please cite a source for this sliver of etymology? And would I be correct in understanding from your post that, from a strictly
constructionist viewpoint, that gun ownership should be illegal for all over 45?

And Hawkeye, on the subject of lib'rul hypocricsy, please, I've brewed up some cawfee and I'm a-rarin' to go! Which instances are are particularly galling to you today?

By the way, there is nothing particularly inconsistent with Rosie O'Donnel's stance; if she had her way, NO ONE would have guns – not you, not her bodyguards, no one. Sadly, however, she is forced to live with a situation where there are threats on her life and, thanks to the agitation of the NRA etc, every nutjob on the block is totin' a betsy or two. She wishes it were different.

Cheers

Elroy

 
At 4/23/2007 7:41 AM , Blogger camojack said...

I'm against anyone trying to arm bears...but then, I'm a retard.

ELEVENTEEN!!!

 
At 4/23/2007 8:21 AM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Since it's such a nice day... I think I'll bare my arms.

Regards...

 
At 4/23/2007 10:37 AM , Blogger Maggie said...

Hawkeye,

Hope the logging on problem is solved.I changed my password.

 
At 4/24/2007 1:34 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Great Maggie, God Bless.

 
At 4/24/2007 1:54 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Elroy,
Liberal hypocrisy? Too many cases to cite. Al Gore running around on private jets telling the rest of us to reduce our carbon footprint. Schumer attacking Bush for firing 8 U.S. prosecutors when Clinton fired all 93, some of whom were actively investigating Clinton and other Democrats. Al Sharpton's comments about Imus being a racist when his own words sound MUCH more racist (see HERE). Kerry voting for the war before voting against it. Hillary, Jay Rockefeller, Reid, Kerry, etc. all saying Saddam Hussein had WMD when analyzing the same intel GWB had, then saying they were lied to. It goes on and on. There's even a book about it...

See HERE.

 
At 4/24/2007 1:56 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Elroy,
Oh yeah, and how 'bout this one...
Being against the death penalty for criminals because life is sacred, but being in favor of abortion which has killed some 46 million sacred lives.

No hypocrisy there...

 
At 4/25/2007 6:00 AM , Anonymous Elroy said...

Is that all you’ve got? Too easy! Al Gore is not necessarily saying that everyone should live in smaller houses per se, but that one should do what one can within the limits of ones environment.

So although Gore does live in a bloody big house (and who are you to say that he shouldn’t – after all, one of conservatives biggest tenets is ‘Don’t tell me how to spend my money!’), he has solar panels, buys ‘green’ energy and carbon offsets, as he recommends others do. Now, you may argue with the efficacy of those solutions, but that’s another story.

With regards to his private jet use, I would argue that he has more than offset this by spreading the good word about global warming and energy conservation. He could do it by bicycle, but considering the distances involved this might take more time than the planet has.

Clinton asked for the resignation of 93 attorneys, as per the convention for incoming presidents. There is nothing unusual about this. Ask Reagan.
The difference is that Rove and Gonzales cooked this up for purely political motives and lied about it.

R & G did not sack the attorneys for ‘performance related’ issues, as they originally claimed, as Gonzales said the other day he had never looked at their performance records, although I’m surprised that Gonzales could remember that he didn’t look as can’t seem to 'recall' his own name.

Of the attorneys whose resignation Clinton accepted, Jay Stephens was investigating Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski (D, Illinois) for campaign fund fraud and his replacement, Eric Holder, appointed by Clinton, got him indicted.

There is a vast difference between what Clinton did and what the Bush regime did; you know it, or should. Here’s everybody favorite office-boy Kyle Sampson on the subject:

‘In recent memory, during the Reagan and Clinton Administrations, Presidents Reagan and Clinton DID NOT seek to remove and replace U.S. Attorneys to serve indefinitely under the holdover provision." (Emphasis original)

Don’t be so disingenuous Hawkeye®, and don’t swallow so mush of Hannity’s codswallop.

Imus is a racist; he’d been doing this stuff for years but no one had the guts to call him on it before. Sharpton may have said bad things, but I believe he has also been called for account – he may not have been penalized as much as you may have liked, but that is not the point.

I enjoyed Hannity on this issue as he pleaded for Imus to be shown ‘Christian forgiveness’ while not extending it to Sharpton. And Sharpton was not addressing particular individuals who had never been accused of doing anything wrong – the reality is, it was the fact that the Rutgers netball team had only done right but were STILL being maligned that dropped Imus in it.

And there’s plenty more where Imus came from on the right – and talking of hypocrites, it sure will be party time in Commieville when Rush eventually gets his – but after you’ve barbequed Big Al, who’s next?

Hillary, Jay Rockefeller, Reid, Kerry, etc. all saying Saddam Hussein had WMD may well have analyzed the same intel GWB had, but with one importance difference; Bush knew it was untrue, and if he didn’t know the he SHOULD have known ‘cause everyone else did. I mean he IS the CIC – or is supposed to be.

The Downing Street Memos, Doug Feith, there is so much evidence that the WH cooked this up I don’t HOW you could still think otherwise.
Even the dreaded Bill O’Reilly says that he took the evidence on good faith but it tuned out wrong, and that’s the defense used by Hilary et al. They all saw the same evidence.

The point is the WH had OTHER evidence that they did NOT show anyone, and they had the raw data that they did NOT show anyone. They cooked the books. That’s not a conspiracy theory, that’s on the record.

And yes, I’ve seen that book, it was expressly written for suckers who are more than willing to be blind to the other side of the story. The author is a little, um, manipulative with the facts. The sins of omission Hawkeye®, the sins of omission...

And yeah, this one has always intrigued me too. If all life is sacred, how can you be in favour of killing them? After all, it doesn’t say ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill Anyone Not Convicted By A Jury Of Their Peers In A Court of Law’, it merely says ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’ What was that about strict constructionism again?

The thing is, liberals don’t like abortion either, and that’s why they seek to reduce their number through methods that have found to be successful in other countries. The Netherlands has the lowest abortion rate in the
OECD, brought about not only free abortion on demand but comprehensive education and free contraception, but conservatives are unwilling to try them? Why is that? I mean, your techniques are hardly winning prizes, are they? If the Dutch methods have been proven to lower the abortion rates, why would y’all not want to employ them, huh? I know why ¬¬– ‘cause you hate babies! You hate babies so much etc etc (Yawn! Continued at a pro-life rally near you).

And while we’re at it, what about the millions of babies killed each year by the oil industry, and mining, and all the rest of the corporate chicanery? Do those babies not count?

And here’s another one: All these babies that get born to unwilling, unprepared and ill-prepared parents, what happens to them? Do you care? No, it seems to me that you then whine about the welfare benefits their mothers get. All care and no responsibility, huh?

So you insist they get born and but do nothing to help them except help pull the switch when they wind up sittin’ in O'l Sparky after a short, brutish life of poverty, desperation, abuse and denial, but I tells ya – until y’all can learn to look after your poor properly you don’t deserve to have any.

Cheers

Elroy

 
At 4/25/2007 8:46 AM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Elroy,
Gimme a break. If anyone has been swallowing "codswallop", it's you. Quit fooling yourself. Do Republicans and Conservatives play politics? Sure, that's because they're politicians. But libs make themselves out to be "saints"... defending the environment, defending the poor, defending the downtrodden, defending the illegals, defending the soldiers... what a crock! They're USING you and everybody they claim to defend. They're NO saints, that's for sure. They're crooked, power-hungry, poll-watching, hypocrites.

Even if you believe all those liberal-socialist-commie lies, don't believe these people. They aren't doing ANYTHING for altruistic reasons. They want power. They want face time on TV. They play to their base. They play to George Soros. They have no honor whatsoever.

They will trample the dead bodies of American soldiers, Iraqis, and anyone else they can use to obtain power. And they will cow-tow to dictators, terrorists and mullahs at the same time. Unbelievable. It's amazing that they want to be in control of a country that they despise so much.

 
At 4/26/2007 12:10 AM , Anonymous Elroy said...

Way to avoid the subject, Hawkeye! Yes, all politicians play politics to some extent, but Rove does nothing that is not political and the politicization of the judiciary, as plotted by Rove et al, well, that way fascism lies. Libs are not saints particularly, nor do they claim to be, but so what if they do? Or are? What is wrong with defending the environment, defending the poor, defending the downtrodden, defending the illegals, defending the soldiers? If they don’t do it, who will? The Republicans? Hah! No chance.

The Republican Party governs for the sake of business. Big business.
They make no bones about that – in fact, they are proud of it. To me, THEY are the crooked, power hungry, poll-watching hypocrites, and I think I can prove that. They are proud of being the party of corporate power, they see that as the way forward for everybody, but I reject that philosophy and I can tell you why. I’m not being played by anybody.

I’m a progressive liberal. I will vote, in my country, for parties that promise policies that are closer to these values. I don’t care if they ARE crooked, power hungry, poll-watching hypocrites, just so long as they deliver, and if they don’t deliver, I and thousands of others will want to know why. I want to defend the environment, help the poor, the downtrodden and the illegals, I want to stop the soldiers dying. Do you?

But what are these ‘liberal-socialist-commie lies’ of which you speak? Specifically, what do you consider them to be? Which politicians DO work for purely altruistic reasons? Politicians want power. They want face time on TV. They play to their base. Dur!

They play to George Soros? Oh, pu-leeese! That’s O’Reilly talking. Big scary George! Why can’t he spend his money as he likes? Rupert Murdoch does – he runs a far bigger partisan machine than Soros could ever dram of! And if libs have no honor whatsoever in your eyes, how about Delay? Ambrahoff? Cunningham? If I listed all the bent Republicans that have surface over the past few years, my computer would explode.

Libs do not trample the dead bodies of American soldiers, Iraqis and anyone else they can use to obtain power, and nor do they cow-tow to dictators, terrorists and mullahs at the same time. They do, however, believe that blowing people to kingdom come is not thee best way to get them on-side and that good ol’ diplomacy will ultimately achieve the same result but with less mess – less dead coalition soldiers and less dead Iraqis. The solution will inevitably be political, so why not start discussions now?

What I see from conservatives what psychoanalysts call ‘projection’; they project onto others the worst aspects of their own behavior. Of course, you could say the same thing of liberals, so let’s shoot it out. Proof. Show me the evidence that liberals don’t actually care about the poor, the downtrodden etc. Show me the money, Hawkeye®.

Democrats don't despise their country, they've just a different way of lovin' it – don't believe everything the pundits tells y'all. As for Republicans, they are the one trampling on the dead bodies of US soldiers and Iraqi citizens in order to consolidate power, IMHO. To me that's obvious, and it's amazing that they are still in control of a country that they despise so much.

Cheers

Elroy

PS Curious that you avoided just about all of my points and questions. Why am I suprised? C'mon Hawkeye®, I know the information's in there somewhere!

 

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