Question regarding the 2nd Amendment

Discussion in 'The Constitutional & RKBA Forum' started by phila, Sep 4, 2006.

  1. phila

    phila New Member

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    "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."

    I apologize up front if this is old ground, but I have never read or heard this point discussed that I can recall. My question is this: When one looks the word "state" up in the dictionary they will first find it defined as a "condition" or form of being.

    I know that through out the history of the Bill of Rights the capitalization of that word (and many many others) has varied, somtimes back and forth from the ratification until present.

    I guess my point is that I'm not sure that the language of the 2nd Amendment has anything to do with a State in the context of a political entity,goverment or territory, but rather with ensuring that the individual has a right to maintain a state of freedom and a well regulated militia is one means of protecting that right.

    Over the many years that I have read it this, it seems to make much more sense than the more often interpeted meaning of the word state as it is used in the 2nd Amendment.

    Any thoughts?
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2006
  2. Big Roy

    Big Roy New Member

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    State is used several times in the Bill of Rights. Each time it refers to the government or territory meaning. Clearly (to me anyway) it does in this case also.
  3. Leander H. McNelley

    Leander H. McNelley New Member

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    Regardless of it being intended to mean a "state of condition" of the People, or the "State of Massachesetts", the meaning and intent of the second Amendment: "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" would apply either way.

    "The People" are the State, and they were granted the right by God, to maintain a free state of being by way of keeping, and bearing arms.

    (Unfortunately, we keep electing folks that think the State is supposed to control the people, rather than the in the intended founding manner)

    The real problem is with legislators not being able to understand the words "right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" meand that it simply "shall not" be infringed upon.
  4. phila

    phila New Member

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    Thanks,I could not agree more.
  5. Sackett

    Sackett Member

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    Some people also think that the 2nd Amendment somehow refers to State Rights while the rest of the Bill of Rights refers to individual' rights.
    I've always found that logic a little twisted.
  6. southernshooter

    southernshooter New Member

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    Well put Sackett
  7. Nighthawk

    Nighthawk New Member

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    amen
  8. Ursus

    Ursus New Member

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    If any person has a doubt about the meaning of the 2nd Amendment to your Constitution refer them to "The Federalist Papers" (If you don't have it, get one. I have it and I'm not an American). I donĀ“t remember exactly where it refers to the 2nd Amendment, but I'll check and post it here.
  9. Leander H. McNelley

    Leander H. McNelley New Member

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    Whenever anyone tells you they don't know the exact "interpretation" or "meaning" of the 2nd Amendment, or try to make you believe they don't understand it, there are only a few possible reasons. One, is they are lying, and want to make the majority of Americans believe the 2nd amendment says something which it clearly does not. The other reason, is public education has allowed a revisionism of how law is to be made. Nowdays, people beleive the Supreme Court can dictate law, and the law is to be made by the Legislative branch, all of which must be "in pursuance of" the Constitution, or it is not law on it's face. You do not need a Supreme Court decision to determine if a law is passed that "infringes" upon your right to keep and bear arms, then that law which bars yor bearing arms, is dictated by the Constitution itself, as not lawful.

    Many attempts are made in order to try and make us believe we are ignorant of the meaning, of a simple sentence. You don't have to be a "Constituttional Scholar" to understand this Amendment.

    Keep in mind, the 2nd Amendment is a sentence consisting of a total of 27 words, and we are taught the meaning of those words previous to even entering high school.

    The school system, and the legal system, simply do not want you to read all of those words in the same sentence, since it would possibly lead to students reading all the others in the Bill of Rights, and reading the Articles of the Constitution, which would really be a problem for the governmental system we have unfortunately allowed to usurp our original system of government. We used to be a "Representative Republican form of Government" with control over all three governmental branches, including the Judicial. Now, the Judicial controls us illegally, according to the Constitution's VIth Amendment, because all trials are to be public, by jury.

    No plea bargains were ever allowed under the Constitution. By allowing Judges and D.A.'s to begin deciding sentences, we gave up our right to control the Judiciary, thus the stupid idiotic "case law" we see allowing all sorts of onerous governmental regulations and control of your life.

    I'm surprised they don't tell us in which cadence to breath in and out. :)
  10. dge479

    dge479 New Member

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    I agree woth Mr McNelly, Especially where it says You dont have to be a constitutional scholar. I beleive thes were written to be read and uderstood as they were written and were done so with comon sence in mind.
    What part of Not be infringed , dont they understand.
  11. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Hi Phila........welcome to TFF! :)

    You raise a very interesting intrepation of the 2nd Amendment.....one that I hadn't considered before.

    Generally speaking, there are two views on the meaning of "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State...."

    On side holds that it refers to the State as being a governmental entity.....and therefore refers to a State regulated Milita. Some also hold that in today's terms, the National Guard is the direct descendent of the Revolutionally War Militias and therefore the term "militia" refers to the National Guard.

    Others hold that, historically, the State Militias were comprised of various local and town Militias, and that every man between the ages of 17 to 50 (ages varied from locality to locality) was a member of that Militia....and that each man was expected to furnish his own firearm and that every man is (to this day) a "member of the militia".

    Historically speaking, by the time the first ten amendments were ratified in 1791, most State Militias were more organized than at the begining of the Revolutionary War, and the States did issue them firearms......however, even at that time, there were local Militias on the Western Frontier (which at that time was in the Western Pennsylvania/Eastern Ohio area down thru Kentucky and Tennessee areas) and they were expected to furnish their own firearms. Additionally, a firearm was absolutely necessary to defend each home and homestead (at this time against Indians, not the British) and to hunt to put meat on the table.....and that those who ratified the 2nd Amendment must've taken that into consideration, and meant that personal ownership of firearms was within the meaning of the of that amendment.

    A third argument holds that all other rights listed in the 10 Amendments refers to idividual rights and it would inconsistant to expect that the framers of the first 10 Amendments would make the 2nd Amendment an exception.

    Interesting arguments all......
  12. Leander H. McNelley

    Leander H. McNelley New Member

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    Regardless, when you read the sentence, it states "...the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." The portion of the sentence which refers to a militia is there to demonstrate why not allowing government to infringe upon our God-given right to keep and bear arms, is so important to maintaining our freedom from oppressive governments and dictators.

    Suppose for a moment, that the following sentence was actually the 2nd Amendment with all other Amendments and Articles of the Constitution remaining exactly as they are.

    Amendment II. "Three well rounded meals a day being necessary to maintain a balanced diet, the right of the people to eat and keep foodstuffs shall not be infringed.

    If Congress or a certain State passed a law limiting the amount of food one could eat, or what type of food one could possess, such a law would be in direct opposition of that 2nd Amendment. It would therby constitute an "infringement" upon that right.

    Article VI of the Constitution states clearly that any law (Federal or State) which is "not in pursuance of the Constitution" is forbidden. All Judges are bound by that Article (VI) to find any law "infringing" upon one of the Bill of Rights, to be illegal.

    So consider the actual 2nd Amendment. The sentence says "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.

    Any law which sets out a stipulation or requirement previous to a citizen keeping or bearing arms, is an infringement on that right. When you read the entire Constitution as a whole, one Article after another, and then the Bill of Rights, one after another, you can see that the Constitution, or "contract" which we agreed to in 1789 states emphatically that no government, federal or state, shall infringe upon our right to keep and bear arms. Because we need to be both prepared, and capable of, defending ourselves as a whole against an oppressive government.

    To think the Founders intended nine Federal Government employees (Supreme Court Justices) to decide if that right can be infringed upon two hundred plus years AFTER writing a contract that says "...The right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED" is preposterous.

    For years, lawyer after lawyer has attempted to make the People believe the Supreme Court (nine lawyers on a government payroll) should be allowed to decide if we are to maintain a right which was (according to our Founders) God-given.

    The Supreme Court is not to decide if the Constitution is Constitutional. It is to determine if a law is "in pursuance of" that contractual agreement.

    Nowhere does the Constitution of the United States grant government any authority to limit ownership of weapons. In fact, it strictly forbids government from doing so. The portion about a "well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state" is there to declare why not restricting ownership of guns, is vitally important to maintaining a free state.

    Granted, there are THOUSANDS of illegal, unconstitutional gun laws on the books. But being wrong THOUSANDS of times, doesn't change the fact that our Constitution forbids regulation of firearms by any government agency, in one simple, easy to understand sentence.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2006
  13. Red Neck64

    Red Neck64 Former Guest

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    Well to tell you what I think.I/we have been fighting gun control for many years now some people don't even live as long.So in order to keep my sanity and stop giving buckets of money to the NRA,I had to come to this conclusion.And that is ain't no SOB gonna take my guns from me just "NO".,
  14. hoser1

    hoser1 New Member

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    We have the right to keep and bear arms so we can defend ourselves against an oppressive govermnent. (Who was it that said it was our DUTY to overthrow an oppressive goverment?) But overthrowing the government is impossible, oppressive or no, even if you could get EVERYBODY united. They control the military.
  15. Leander H. McNelley

    Leander H. McNelley New Member

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    Dear Hoser1:

    You ask "who said it was our duty" as civilians to overthrow an oppressive regime?

    Well, Patrick Henry was the most vocal about it during ratification of the Constitution in Virginia.

    However, you can look at the list of signators to the Declaration of Independence at the bottom of the document, and that list displays the names of many other men who did.

    And, when later gathering to mold the Constitution itself, they placed in Article I, Section VIII, the burden of "enforcing the laws of the Union" upon the CITIZEN MILITIA, well over ONE HUNDRED years previous to the formation of a National Guard.

    We have been charged with that duty by the Founders, in writing. There is no question about it.

    But the question remains (as posed by Benjamin Franklin) if we have the will to "keep it."

    With the public schools and colleges today being staffed mainly with "educators" who attended college in the 60's, being indoctrinated with every Anti-American, Pro-Marxist thought known to man, there is little wonder why few young Americans today even believe our Representative Republic system of government is worth the sacrifice to maintain it.

    In fact many high school and college graduates today don't know what a Representative Republic is. Our schools have almost completely halted teaching the Constitution at all.
  16. SpanielSells

    SpanielSells New Member

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    The Bill of Rights was written to protect the rights of citizens from a tyrranical government. Nothing more.

    Only fools and those who are intellectually dishonest believe that the 2nd Amendment somehow offers states (the government) to keep and bear arms as well as maintain an army. The 2nd Amendment does no such thing.

    Those first ten amendments offer no rights to the states. Those rights are afforded to the people. It is baffling how someone could look at the ten and say to themselves, Wow. Amendments 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 give rights to the people. Amendment 2 gives rights to the government. Why on earth would the Founding Fathers extend the right to keep and bear arms to the government and not the people?

    There's an interesting website, if you want to take the time to read, that provides a montage of all the Founding Fathers and what their opinions were regarding private firearm ownership. Again, it becomes clearly obvious that the right to keep and bear arms was intended for individual citizens, not for a state-run militia.

    See http://www.eskimo.com/~bpentium/articles/guns.html for website mentioned.

    Jeff
  17. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

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    Very nice collection of Founding Father's statements.

    Each should copy and save in their own RKBA file.
  18. SpanielSells

    SpanielSells New Member

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    Marlin,

    Glad to provide a useful link. :cool:

    Jeff
  19. Kentuckian

    Kentuckian New Member

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    You don't seem to have much faith in the military doing the right thing.
  20. IBFrank

    IBFrank New Member

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    I remember in early childhood, groups of citizen, or smaller groups of neighbors gathering on certain, specially set-aside days, to go shooting for "militia practice". It was friendly competition with "your most military like rifle/carbine." That could be your Browning pump .22, your "Garden Gun", bolt action rifle, shotgun, govt. surplus '03A3, M1 Garand or carbine, or whatever else you wanted to shoot. There would be bigger contests and covered dish dinners on holidays like the 4th of July. Sometimes, informal teams would ride to a neighboring county for shooting contests. It was all good clean fun that anyone could join. You could even borrow a gun from somebody, people were more friendly. Almost everybody carried a gun in a holster on their side, in the truck or car somewhere, in a belt or pocket. People also knew that if they needed help, neighbors could be relied upon to come quickly with arms, and would help corral the ne'er-do-well.
    But it was a lot more than just fun. People were actually keeping their firearms skills able and ready just in case the call should ever come; "Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country!" from all enemies, foreign or domestic! Almost every other house had at least an old Springfield (or German Luger, iron crosses, etc.)they brought back from the war (which could have been WW I or II back then). And people couldn't wait to show off their new guns.
    It was about that time when people started disbelieving the govt. The Roswell spaceship controversy, denials and cover-up, McCarthy hearings, communist spys among us (there is still a uranium distilling plant near here), the space race, U2s, flying "saucers" seen by too many to continue denying they were real, etc.
    sidebar; Not every piece of the Roswell crash was confiscated! Pieces of it made "the rounds" around the country. It was some amazing stuff never before seen at the time. It looked like aluminum foil that was shiny on both sides. A wooden kitchen match would not burn or melt it and you could instantly touch it and it wouldn't be hot. In fact, you could put it in your hand over a lit match and feel no heat! You could wad it up in your hands and when you laid it down, it would return to shape with no wrinkles or lines on it. Years later, Mylar would remind me of it but Mylar wrinkles when you crumple it. After everybody checked out the sample, it was sent to the next place it could be "safely" examined (meaning legal authorities like police or sheriff deputies and their families and neighbors). Where those pieces ended up is anybodies guess.
    Times were nearing the end of innocence, of true freedom. All is not lost, though. We still have courageous citizens willing to do the right thing and we still have nameless faceless enemies among us. We should ALL be at least as well armed as the enemy!
    The Second Amendment means what it says, simply and plainly. A free "state" is not restrained within a state's borders or a particular time zone. It is a state of mind of security, peace of mind, of knowing you don't have to wait on the cops to defend you and yours, of knowing that an enemy would have to be crazy to invade the U.S.A., a country where every man can shoot back. A "state" can be your back yard, a neighborhood, town, city, county or all of Ohio should Michigan ever attack! A firearm instills confidence, responsibility, honor and respect, the very things this country was founded upon.
    It's a shame we have to try to vote for the (hopefully) lesser of two evils. An anti-gun politician should be booed offstage and run out of town! The liberals almost succeeded in "telling the big lie long enough and people will start believing it" when Clintonists were in power. I believe there are smarter people in this country than they give us credit for. All the gun laws passed by them are unconstitutional and, therefore, need not be obeyed. As for me, I never needed anybodies permission to defend myself.
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