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.
Wikipedia has an article about the 2nd Amendment, containing some interesting information. Apparently there’s more then one version. I wondered if the one they said was distributed to the States was rearranged a bit to make the "keep and bear arms" and the "shall not be infringed" go together.
The version copied above is the one passed by Congress.
One of our commenters told me to read it literally, to diagram the sentence like we did in high school. I thought I detected a bit of condescension in his tone, as if I were an idiot for not having already done this. But when I tried, the first thing I noticed is it's not so easy. In fact, I don't think it's very good English.
There are four phrases, but they don't really work together unless something's missing, unless something's understood. How about this?
1. A well regulated Militia,
2. being necessary to the security of a free State,
3. (and depending upon) the right of the people to keep and bear Arms,
4. shall not be infringed.
Could that be the way to read it? Without those three words I added, I really can't understand it. And with those three words, it seems clear that it all refers to the militia and not the "right of the people to keep and bear Arms." In other words, it's the "well regulated militia" that "shall not be infringed," not the right of the people.
Does that make sense? What do you think?
Who are the militia Mike?ReplyDelete
Also, it is a right "of the people" as you pointed out. What does "of the people" mean, and what does it mean as used in the rest of the BOR?
How do you have a "well-regulated militia" without ensuring that "the right of the people to keep & bear arms, shall not be infringed?
The militia cannot be "well-regulated" if the people do not hae a right to keep & bear arms. (Well-Regulated meant appropriately armed & trained in the 18th century context)
Furthermore, If you connect "shall not be infringed" with "A well-regulated militia" then how do you explain away the words "the right of THE PEOPLE to keep & bear arms." Were they put there by accident? Does the term "the people" magically mean something entirely different than everywhere else in the Constitution?
You would have us believe that the Founders, upon drafting a document comprised of INDIVIDUAL rights, would throw one right in there that does not protect individuals? That defies all logic.
Not to mention the mental stretch it takes to say that people have a right ONLY when they form together in a group (the militia) but that right disappears when they separate. Name me one other Constitutional right that is defined in such a fashion. You won't find one.
This is a settled matter Mike. The court settled it, and you literally have NO historical basis for your view. I on the other hand can give you document after document, quote after quote from the very people who drafted our Constitution.
Here's the version from the Virginia Declaration of Rights,ReplyDelete
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 governed by, the civil power.
Is that clear enough for you Mike? The "well-regulated militia" is "the body of the people, trained to arms" and the purpose of having the body of the people armed was for the defense of a free state. (the term "state" was used in the way we use the term "nation" or "country" today)
Little bit of advice for ya.ReplyDelete
How about instead of wishfully opining about what you think the Founding Fathers might have maybe sorta meant, you check out their other writings where they were quite clear about firearms ownership and the carrying of weapons.
My Right to self defense is a natural Right which does not rely on whether or not the 2A grammer was written well, written poorly or even written at all.
Serioulsy, you're argument has been reduced to theorizing about what they might have meant and saying we have small dicks.
How pathetic is that?
"Could that be the way to read it? Without those three words I added, I really can't understand it. And with those three words, it seems clear that it all refers to the militia and not the "right of the people to keep and bear Arms." In other words, it's the "well regulated militia" that "shall not be infringed," not the right of the people."ReplyDelete
In other words:
I can't understand the 2A. But if I rewrite the 2A, I can understand to be what I want it to be.
Your logic is astounding.
Someone told you to read the US Code. Hell they were nice enough to post a copy for you to read. I would suggest that you track that post down again, and read it, if you didn't delete it.ReplyDelete
"I wondered if the one they said was distributed to the States was rearranged a bit to make the "keep and bear arms" and the "shall not be infringed" go together."ReplyDelete
Just like you 'wonder' that the NRA forced the BATFE to include a disclaimer.
Just like you 'wonder' how the FBI fudged the numbers in the UCR.
No proof. No evidence. No clue.
Kaveman, Thanks for that good advise to read up on the Founding Fathers' other writings. I'll do that.ReplyDelete
Meanwhile, are you gonna answer my question on the Muhs thread? Or you wanna just forget about that? I don't mind deleting the comment, I just wanted to give you a chance to explain first.
I didn't realize you had posed a question to me on that thread. On my way to answer.ReplyDelete
The “militia” meaning of the people’s right to keep and bear arms is less clear in the Second Amendment than in the declaration of rights approved by NewYork’s convention on ratification of the Constitution in 1788:ReplyDelete
“That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; that a well-regulated militia, including the body of the people capable of bearing arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state.” (Elliot’s Debates, vol 1, p 328)
Here the term “bear arms” cannot mean simply “carry arms.” If it did, the whole provision would be oddly saying that people in general had a right to keep and carry arms but that well-regulated militias were made up of those who were actually capable of carrying arms.
Who would have needed to be told that a well-regulated militiaman needed to be able to carry arms? And aren't most folks able to carry arms of some sort whether they’re in a well-regulated militia or not?
Obviously, the meaning intended was that the people as a political society had a right to keep arms and provide militia service and that well-regulated militia service from those who were capable of it was the proper defense of a free state.
The framers of the Second Amendment no doubt had the same intent in supporting a free state's need for a well-regulated militia.
Poor Leif. You've been posting that all over the internet for ages.ReplyDelete
By doing so you just show your ignorance of how a military functions.
"Congress shall never disarm any citizen, unless such as are or have been in actual rebellion."ReplyDelete
"Here the term “bear arms” cannot mean simply “carry arms.” If it did, the whole provision would be oddly saying that people in general had a right to keep and carry arms but that well-regulated militias were made up of those who were actually capable of carrying arms."ReplyDelete
First off Lief, I would like to point out that in Websters dictionary, another definition of bear in its verb form means to carry. I would also like to remind MikeB, and you that the US Code is very straight forward about who makes up a militia. I posted it once, please read it.
Leif, Thanks for the comment. I'm not sure what Thirdpower meant by you're showing "your ignorance of how a military functions."ReplyDelete
Wow, there are some very nice, well written responses here.ReplyDelete
"I'm not sure what Thirdpower meant "ReplyDelete
Why does that not surprise me?
FWM - Yeah, but MikeB likes to ignore the well-reasoned, articulate responses that refute his line of reasoning.ReplyDelete
A few comments on the other comments on my previous post, MikeB:ReplyDelete
I share your puzzlement over the comment about my “ignorance of how a military functions,” since the comment has no obvious bearing on the argument posted by this overseas wartime Army veteran.
As for the New Hampshire quote, those words appear nowhere in the Second Amendment nor anywhere else in the Bill of Rights. Turning to the verb “to bear,” it’s true, of course, that it has multiple definitions, but my post dealt specifically with meaning of the phrase “bear arms” as used in the context of a well regulated militia in 18th-century America.
Lastly, it should be noted that the referenced US code on the militia was written in the 20th century. It cannot be considered a pertinent description of the militias that the framers of the Second Amendment wanted to preserve in 1789.
Ok, would you like to go by how the founders defined the "militia?"ReplyDelete
They were pretty clear about it.
Lief to bear is to carry. Second you need check on that, the US Code was updated and passed in 2008. It is not the same version that was wrote and passed in 1789.ReplyDelete
No Leif, your post dealt w/ your personal interpretation of what the words 'to bear' meant based off of selectively chosen (and usually out of context) quotes and passages.ReplyDelete
You claim you know what the FF's meant yet dismiss any and all evidence (which is all of it BTW) that disputes your beliefs.
If you are a 'wartime veteran' as you claim, why don't you tell me what percentage of the military is combat arms?
It's interesting that no poster made any effort to disprove the substance of my original post. Meaningless emotional comments are easier, apparently.ReplyDelete
"It's interesting that no poster made any effort to disprove the substance of my original post."ReplyDelete
Actually we did. You just followed your SOP and ignored anything that disputes your personal belief.
Basically there's nothing to 'disprove'. You post a quote, ramble on about how it has to mean 'A', usually ask some question that you demand a specific answer to, then ignore any responses.
Just like you did here.
So tell me Leif, what percentage of the military is made up of combat arms?
MikeB, will you answer?
Yeah, that's what I thought.ReplyDelete
I have no idea what that percentage is. Does my not knowing that prove something to you. Why don't you just tell us, for crying out loud, and make your point.ReplyDelete
Poor MikeB. You continue to make your arguments out of ignorance.ReplyDelete
On average, only 10% of the military is made up of combat arms. The rest of it is made up of everything from cooks, to paperpushers, to postal clerks. A clarification on who makes up the military, opposite of what Leif claims, does not strengthen the belief in 'collective rights'.
He's really good at using selectively chosen quotes MikeB. You're wary of the FBI numbers. You should be just as wary of info from the other side.