Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Laci on Collective or Individual

Laci the Dog wrote a sweeping post in response to some of our comments.

It starts:

Quick Answer for Sevesteen: gun rights are illusory in common law.

And ends:

I find the more research I do with primary sources on this subject, the more it becomes apparent that the founders saw a difference between civic and personal uses of firearms. The Civic right was that covered by the Second Amendment with the private uses being subject to common law and the police power of the States.

In between there's a treasure trove of information. Of course for me, suffering from ADD and not being a lawyer, it's a bit difficult. But what I understood is the individual right to own guns is not protected by the 2nd Amendment, in spite of all the hype to the contrary.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.


  1. The Amendment was worded the way it was because it was meant to address anti-federalist concerns that the Congress, because it had virtual absolute authority over the militia, would use its powers to disarm it. So it chose to prevent that outcome by guaranteeing a right to arms. You don't find much debate on self-defense form the time because that people had a right to own guns for that purpose was uncontroversial. The powers Congress had over the militia were, so that's what they spent most of their time arguing about. Still, it's not difficult to find quotes supporting the individual character of the right.

    Another problem with the argument that it's entirely a civic right doesn't explain how states like Pennsylvania ended up with completely unambiguous individual rights protections in their state constitutions. Constitutions that were contemporaries of the federal constitution.

  2. I'm starting to love Laci. Like you, MikeB the pair of you can do more damage to the anti-gun cause than I could ever dream.

    Carry on...and louder please.

    Also if you could convince Laci to troll other blogs, that would be great too!

  3. Sebastian, The Bill of Rights is a minimum standard. States can give greater protection to a right, but they can't give less.

    In other words, the only thing you can tell from the States's version is that personal uses are not mentioned in the Second Amendment.

    As for individual rights quotes, is this the excerpts usually used to buttress the individual rights claim, or the entire passage. These quotes are civic when read in their entirity.

    I quote the Patrick Henry "That Evey man be armed" speech which shows he is discussing Article I, Section 8 Clause 18.

  4. MikeB,

    In simple terms, please explain how you can have a citizen's militia without the citizens having the right to keep and bear arms?

  5. Neither you nor Laci has managed to say in simple terms what the second amendment actually protects. I think she's saying that it keeps the federal government from taking guns away from state governments.

    I wonder if her version would allow Montana (for example) to set up a Swiss style Militia, where members were expected to keep a machine gun and ammo in their own homes? Or even better, require Militia members to go armed all the time, even out of state?

  6. I want to thank Laci for putting the bullshit aside and making real arguments. Just looking at your citing of Aymette. By Aymette's point of reasoning, it protects weapons which are in common use in "civilized warfare" which would today include all manner of weapons that are heavily regulated or illegal. You'd probably find more than a few gun nuts that would be perfectly happy with a right to bear arms that protected the right to an M16 or M4, but not a pocket pistol. But TN has more recent cases, such as State v. Foutch, which reveal a more personal nature to the right:

    Under our constitution every citizen of the State has the right to keep and bear arms for his proper defense, and the Legislature only has power by law to regulate the wearing of arms to prevent crime. Article 1., Section 26; 3 Heis., 178.

    I also think the full context of Henry's writing shows our point about what Henry was concerned about, which was that Congress would use its power over the militia to neglect it, and fail to arm it. Madison dealt with this by guaranteeing the right of the people to keep and bear arms. I don't know for certain whether this satisfied Henry, but since he did not support the constitution, I would say probably not. But it satisfied enough people for ratification.

    There's a lot of language you can find that points to the founders being very concerned about the civic purpose of the Second Amendment, which was to ensure the continuation and effectiveness of the militia, but it chose to do this by guaranteeing an individual right.

    The ultimate irony is I think the anti-federalist turned out to be right. The militia has been ignored and has effectively withered. Congress no longer arms or disciplines it. We effectively stopped using that system at the end of the 19th century. But that doesn't negate the Second Amendment.

  7. These quotes are civic when read in their entirity.

    Which ones? because I can think of several quotes by our founders that discuss the carrying of arms by men in their daily lives (I.E. unconnected with militia service)

    There are also many quotes that tell us exactly who the militia are. I know you claim they are the "national guard", but we all know you're intellectually dishonest.

  8. As I've mentioned before about Laci's approach, she seems to tend to 'fish' (i.e. only look for information that supports her view.

    The whole 'individual vs. collective' argument has largely been abandoned by the forward thinkers of the gun control movement, and in the Heller case, amicus briefs attempting to make this argument were dismissed by ALL 9 justices as being so wrong, it did not warrant consideration.

    For a more forward thinking view on the topic (and to quit arguing a topic which most seem to feel has been decided already), I've heard that Dennis Henigan's "Lethal Logic: Exploding the Myths that Paralyze American Gun Policy" will somewhat be the manual for gun-control logic moving forward. Henigan is the Brady Center’s chief lawyer. I have not read it yet (I'll wait for paperback or used), but judging from the reviews on Amazon (5 star by gun control advocates, 1 star by gun rights types), it seems to have stuck a nerve, and should be worth reading to understand its points.

  9. A collective right cannot exist without an individual right. So even if the Second Amendment refers to a collective right to bear arms, the individual right is implicit.

  10. If we are talking about a "civic" right....shouldn't we also discuss the "civic responsibility" also?

    Doesn't every citizen have the responsibility to prevent or stop crime?

    How does gun control advocates square removing an effective tool to prevent or stop a crime with "civic rights"?

    Found this while looking around, here is another program with the same message as the Eddie Eagle program.

    I am a little concerned to see such stereotyping in the 'coloring book'. Girls are wise and boys play with weapons.

  11. And of course, if the Founders meant for "The People" in the 2nd Amendment to mean "State Militias" they wouldn't have used the term "The People."

    They clearly differentiated between "The States" and "The People" elsewhere in the BOR. (See 10th Amendment)

    Laci would have us believe that "The People" as referenced in the 2nd Amendment does not refer to individual citizens, but that it does apply to individuals when used in the rest of the BOR.

    Or perhaps Laci thinks none of the rights in the BOR are rights of individuals?

  12. "Or perhaps Laci thinks none of the rights in the BOR are rights of individuals?"

    I'd go one step further and say she thinks they can say whatever she wants on any given day.

    All while waiving her lawschool diploma around....of which I highly doubt it's existence.

  13. Here are some other quotes from Laci...


    "Hey, I don't mind you having guns. In fact, I hope you gun cretins all shoot yourselves and make the world a better place just like Melanie did. No, that's not hate, just a sincere desire to see a better world, which this will be without your sorry arses preventing proper gun laws from being adopted."


    "Shit, her husband used his own gun to kill her.....As you know, I was hoping that Scott would have grabbed Melanie's gun and popped her with it.....Anyway, two less gun owning idiots on this planet."


    "I am sorry, but I don't feel too much regret since looking at her smug face made me want to grab her gun and pop a cap in her ass as well.... it would be funny as heck if Hain was shot with her own gun. I am hoping that her husband turned her own gun against her......Most concealed carry idiots make me want to grab their guns and pop a cap in their sorry moronic arses."

    That's a real class act you ally yourself with, MikeB.

  14. Kaveman - Those are straight from my post on this.

    MikeB has no problem associating himself with such vile crap.