Confessions of a 2A Absolutist

 

Hello, my name is Postmodern Hoplite, and I am a “Second Amendment Absolutist.”

I believe that the right to keep and bear arms recognized in the US Constitution is so broad and expansive that it extends to include tanks, artillery, combat aircraft, and even atomic weapons (at least in principle, if not in fact.)

“What? Are you INSANE? What possible use would a private citizen have for such heavy firepower as that to protect themself or their home from criminals? Yeah, maybe the police aren’t going to get there in time to protect you, (“…a man’s home is his castle, and all that…”) but that’s what handguns and other small arms are for. What legitimate need is there for automatic weapons, armored vehicles, cannon, and close air support?”

Simple: that’s what the Second Amendment (2A) means. It wasn’t included in the Bill of Rights to ensure that private individuals have the means to protect themselves against crime. The Founders knew such a right of individual self-protection was obvious. (Try to stop someone from protecting themself when attacked!) The 2A was included so as to establish unequivocally that the newly-established Federal Government would not have the means to enact a tyranny over the citizenry through the use of military force. Therefore, if the US Army has a particular combat capability that might be turned against the general populace, the people, in the form of the militia, have a right to access it as well, or at least a comparable counter-measure.

”Wait a minute! What about the National Guard? There’s the militia for you; the ‘Guard’ has tanks, ‘n artillery, ‘n stuff like that which is too dangerous for private citizens to have.”

Nope. The National Guard is not a militia, at least not as the Founders understood the term to mean. It is an auxiliary of the Regular army, paid for and wholly controlled by the US Army and the senior leadership hierarchy of the Pentagon. If the separate states were to exert actual, operational, and functional control of their respective National Guard units, the Federal government would cut the 90-95% funding currently provided immediately.

“Yeah, but the legal authority to organize any militia is found at the state level. That has been the way it’s been since the founding, and the way it was in the Colonial period. All of the states, from ‘blue state’ California to ‘red state’ Florida, prohibit any and all wack-job group of civilians from forming paramilitary groups and calling themselves a ‘militia.’”

This is very true; the legal authority for the organization and training of the militia does reside at the state level. However, it can be justly argued that if the state abrogates the duty to organize and train the militia, it does not follow that the right of the people disappears. It only means that the good people of California, or Florida, or any other state have the right to petition their respective state governments to provide for their civil rights (specifically, that of keeping and bearing arms.)

“Yes, but the Founders never anticipated modern automatic weapons, cannons, tanks, and other mechanized equipment. They are all too deadly and complex for simple private citizens to handle.”

Nonsense. The Founders clearly understood that new technologies would emerge that would counteract the dominant military tools and tactics used by the modern Armies of their day. Anyone who doubts this is welcome to examine the development of the Continental Army from 1775 through 1783, and the subsequent Militia Act of 1792. The Founders recognized the significance of rifled firearms (and the tactics necessary to use them effectively) vs. smoothbore muskets (and the body of bayonet tactics demanded by their use.) The point here is not whether or not the myth of victory in the War of Independence due to rifle-armed militiamen fighting like Indians vs. stupid British regulars marching in straight lines is true or not. The point is this; it is indisputable that the Founders recognized that effective resistance to a strong, well-trained, and well-equipped modern army (the British) required an adaptive and flexible response making use of whatever means were available.

Lastly, I acknowledge openly that the logistic demands of purchasing, fueling, maintaining, arming, and training with a highly complex piece of modern military hardware such as an M1A2 Abrams main battle tank are beyond the means of even the wealthiest individual. It’s the same with an A10 Warthog, or any other modern land warfare system. But that doesn’t compromise the right to have such capabilities, any more than the lack of owning the publishing capacity of the New York Times abrogates the right to free speech.

Therefore, I believe it is self-evident that I have the right to belong to a well-regulated militia, an organization whose capacity to meet and defeat whatever threat the standing army of the Federal Government might employ. That is what being “Pro Second Amendment” really means, in absolute terms.

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  1. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    IIRC, much of the trouble in New England that occurred before July 4, 1776 had to do with the colonials procuring cannon and the appropriate ammunition and the Brits trying to track them down. I’m a bit fuzzy on the details, but there you are.

    Also, I think much of the desire for militia had to do with hostilities with Indians Native  Americans Original People You know, those folks, whatever they are called these days. When things started to happen on the frontier that needed immediate response, the King’s regulars were only a few weeks away. 

    What would an ideal application of 2A look like in today’s world if you could say this is the way it ought to be?

    • #1
  2. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    I can actually come to an argument why not to atomic bombs. By 2a standards, the purpose is to protect ourselves (and those we see as extensions of self) from our government. If the intent is to utterly destroy yourself, your loved ones, and your neighbors while destroying the government, then you sorta deserve to lose.

    The Second isn’t a permissive for nihilism, but rather to defend your life and all that springs from that life.

    • #2
  3. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    Excellent! “To keep and bear” is absolute and timeless.

     

    • #3
  4. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    philo (View Comment):

    Excellent! “To keep and bear” is absolute and timeless.

    …and requires no justification as to “need.” It is a “right” exercised at the pleasure of the citizen in good standing of the United States of America. A right that is absolute up to the point that it violates a right held by another such citizen. 

    • #4
  5. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    I’m with you. If it was up to me, the government wouldn’t tax weapons and ammunition either, as that infringes on the right of the poor to keep and bear arms. Market price only. 

    • #5
  6. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    A few thoughts.  While I do support the possession of atomic weapons to protect the country, I’m not confident that every individual who can afford one should have one.  That is why I support the idea of the US government having them: their use would be limited by decades of tradition, thoughtfulness, and bureaucracy.  Interestingly when Trump asked Why don’t we use them? this was responded to with ridicule.  But it’s a legitimate question to ask those charged with their potential use against foreign enemies.  Contrast this with E. Swalwell’s threat to use them against US civilians and it is amazing that the thought, whether meant metaphorically or symbolically, could enter the mind of a man, and especially a man who was elected to represent citizens in their government.

    And in the event of secession, the expense of fighters, and tanks, and national guard units could be borne by the new government, say, a Texas Air Militia, and being able to get a major multinational corporation (which is a part of the MIC) to be willing to sell major weapons (and replacement parts) to a given state is the limiting issue.

    • #6
  7. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    Well written. Thank you.

    I’m not a gun nut, I’m an art collector. I happen to like art that is made of metal and wood and is at the peak of its beauty when it is functioning.

    • #7
  8. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    I do believe county and cities have the authority to form militia units. Certainly, historically, this is how militias were organized – by municipalities as well as the states.

    If so, a more effective Second Amendment Sanctuary tactic might be for rural communities to form militias – open to all law abiding citizens residing in the community. As part of their responsibility as members of this militia they are required to purchase and maintain at their own expense, such firearms as would be required to defend their homes and communities. 

    Drills could be held monthly in which militia members would have to demonstrate they possess firearms and are proficient in their use, with the requirement that a member participate in at least one drill every year. Naturally, militia members in good standing would be permitted to own such weapons as they feel appropriate – regardless of whether these weapons are barred by law to individuals not members of a militia by the state and federal government. 

    Further, as a function of domestic security they would not be required to report what firearms they possess, merely demonstrate that they own at least one and are proficient in its use. After all, we would not want any potential enemies, foreign or domestic, having access to that kind of intelligence.

    • #8
  9. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin
    @OmegaPaladin

    I would offer a partial argument against the case of heavy artillery and larger crew served weapons.  I believe there is a legitimate government interest in preventing someone driving around in a technical or packing a mortar on public property.  You can build a military compound on your own property, and its none of the government’s business, but driving around with a manned .50 cal is an active threat.  Also, anyone hauling around that kind of ordnance would be responsible for securing it so some thug doesn’t open up with your .50 cal on the surroundings.

    NBC weapons are something else.  If you mishandle them, you can kill a lot of people, and they are not very useful for opposing a government or defending yourself.   I’m perfectly fine with those being military only, same with large scale explosives.  If you want to build a tallboy bomb, find a very isolated area, or get arrested.  The point is that is hard to keep these weapons from killing lots of people, even just from carelessness.

    • #9
  10. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    Postmodern Hoplite: …even atomic weapons (at least in principle, if not in fact.)

    I would say that a large part of the “2A Absolutist” terminology is really specifying that “the Constitution says what it means and means what it says.” Based on that, and as absurd as the notion of keeping and bearing a nuclear weapon is (for now), I would agree with both the “in principle” and the “in fact” position that it is covered by the current language. (Again, “to keep and bear” is absolute and timeless.)

    Now, the “Absolutist” with a soft underbelly may be inclined to entertain “common sense legislation” at the Federal level to outlaw such a thing as long as we have firmly established the line of scrimmage well on the 2A side of tanks and artillery and are not in any fear of outlawing fire arms solely on the basis that they look scary to Nancy Pelosi. But the “Absolutist” is under no obligation to give an inch on this. If (or when) we get to a point where ownership of atomic weapons by private citizens is not an absurd notion intended to distract, then that should be a very easy Constitutional amendment to pass.  (Revised Constitutional Absolutist Position: “to keep and bear…shall not be infringed” until the Constitution specifies exactly when and how it can be infringed.)

    Until then, the 2A says what it means and means what it says.

    [P.S. Note that I did that will less logical contortionism than “conservative” Chief Justice John Roberts does before lunch on any given day.]

    • #10
  11. Postmodern Hoplite Coolidge
    Postmodern Hoplite
    @PostmodernHoplite

    JoelB (View Comment):

    When things started to happen on the frontier that needed immediate response, the King’s regulars were only a few weeks away. 

    What would an ideal application of 2A look like in today’s world if you could say this is the way it ought to be?

    There is much truth in what you say; from 1607 until 1775, the greatest threat to the British Colonies in North America was from the Indian nations. Other than during relatively well-defined periods (1755 to 1763, for example) when France deployed limited numbers of Regulars, the threat on the frontier was from the aboriginals. That being the case, it was not until after the French & Indian War that there were any Regular regiments of the British Army stationed in the Colonies. Until then, there were no regiments of the King’s regulars anywhere close.

    • #11
  12. Postmodern Hoplite Coolidge
    Postmodern Hoplite
    @PostmodernHoplite

    Stina (View Comment):
    The Second isn’t a permissive for nihilism, but rather to defend your life and all that springs from that life.

    Well said, indeed. And in a practical, applied sense, you’d have no argument from me regarding the inadvisability of trying to maintain, store, or employ atomic weapons at the militia level. However, it was not too long ago that a member of Congress actually suggested that any effort to resist Federal authority on the part of private citizens would be foolish on account of the the US military having nuclear weapons. (Rep. Eric Swalwell (D), 2018)

    • #12
  13. Postmodern Hoplite Coolidge
    Postmodern Hoplite
    @PostmodernHoplite

    Flicker (View Comment):
    And in the event of secession, the expense of fighters, and tanks, and national guard units could be borne by the new government, say, a Texas Air Militia, and being able to get a major multinational corporation (which is a part of the MIC) to be willing to sell major weapons (and replacement parts) to a given state is the limiting issue.

    Yes, this is a fair observation, and a legitimate issue – the logistics of acquiring and maintaining a modern mechanized combat force capable of sustaining high- or even medium-intensity conflict would strongly argue against even trying to do so.

    However, as has been demonstrated in multiple cases during the last century (particularly in the last twenty years) having the industrial base to deploy a highly technologically advanced land combat force does not necessarily translate into strategic victory. On the one hand, the best way of defeating a tank is another tank. However, not having the means to field a tank doesn’t mean that the right to have alternative means of defeating a tank has been surrendered.

    • #13
  14. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and
    @Misthiocracy

    My position: It is philosophically valid for a person to support limits to the 2nd Amendment. In fact, I myself could personally theoretically support certain hypothetical limits to the 2nd Amendment.  I do not think it it philosophically valid to claim that the architects of the US Constitution would not support any such limits if they were alive today. However, the only way to enact such limits are via new constitutional amendments, and not by statute or Supreme Court opinion. Any attempt to create loopholes around the 2nd Amendment that do not require new constitutional amendments are tyrannical.

    • #14
  15. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    The four most important words in the Second Amendment, the words that mean what they say, are “Shall Not Be Infringed”.  Those four words are easy to define, easy to remember, and, I think, the source of the meaning and power of the Second Amendment.  Any limits on the 2A would have to be explained in light of those four words.  Gun background checks, in my opinion, heavily infringe on the Second Amendment, and should not be allowed.

    • #15
  16. Postmodern Hoplite Coolidge
    Postmodern Hoplite
    @PostmodernHoplite

    Misthiocracy got drunk and (View Comment):

    My position: It is philosophically valid for a person to support limits to the 2nd Amendment. In fact, I myself could personally theoretically support certain hypothetical limits to the 2nd Amendment. I do not think it it philosophically valid to claim that the architects of the US Constitution would not support any such limits if they were alive today. However, the only way to enact such limits are via new constitutional amendments, and not by statute or Supreme Court opinion. Any attempt to create loopholes around the 2nd Amendment that do not require new constitutional amendments are tyrannical.

    Fairly and clearly expressed; we are in full agreement that the only to enact restrictions to 2A is through constitutional amendment.

    I am curious: what military capacities would you be comfortable with the Federal government having that are denied to the militia?

    • #16
  17. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    I share your enthusiasm for the private ownership of guns. Were I making the rules, the right to carry a gun, visible or concealed and without any kind of license, would be the default in every state.

    I think the founders were intending to secure the right to possess what were typically considered “arms,” including those arms that would be carried and used by a soldier. I doubt that they were thinking of large “weapon systems” per se, the only ones of which they had at the time were military vessels. A reasonable case could be made to include cannon and mortar as arms, as I think that’s historically consistent, but I’d be sympathetic to anyone who wanted to argue against that as well.

    The word “bear” seems meaningful. People don’t “bear” a tank, a fighter jet, nor an ICBM. The kinds of arms people bear are necessarily limited in size and weight. They were also, in the time of the framers, inherently limited in destructive power, given that destructive power and size were generally commensurate in a world lacking NBC technologies. I think we can reasonably assume that the framers would not have intended to include such technologies as nuclear and biochemical weapons in their use of the word “arms,” had they been aware of such weapons. On the other hand, I’m sure they would have included all modern infantry sidearms and rifles.

    So it seems a reasonable interpretation is that they intended to protect the right for individuals to possess weapons of those classes which a man could in their day reasonably bear — swords, knives, handguns, long guns — and at least equivalent to those available to a soldier.

    • #17
  18. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Weren’t the Founders wary of any standing army?  They knew very well the uses a standing army could be put to by a central government.

    • #18
  19. Postmodern Hoplite Coolidge
    Postmodern Hoplite
    @PostmodernHoplite

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    So it seems a reasonable interpretation is that they intended to protect the right for individuals to possess weapons of those classes which a man could in their day reasonably bear — swords, knives, handguns, long guns — and at least equivalent to those available to a soldier.

    Perhaps. As always, @henryracette your replies are thoughtful, and advance the discussion respectfully.

    The problem with your interpretation it two-fold. The first is that by understanding or interpreting “bear arms” as a purely individual act, it limits its application to the solitary man. It is only in the collective unit, that which defines being a “soldier”, that military efficacy is attained. The Founders certainly never supposed individual Americans, acting independently, were what had led to victory.

    Secondly, interpreting “to keep and bear arms” as applying only to hand-held weapons ignores the historical record that the British troops who marched on Lexington and Concord in 1775 were not seeking to seize small arms; their objective was the four cannon possessed by the Massachusetts militia. I’m pretty confident the Founders had not forgotten this when drafting the Bill of Rights.

    • #19
  20. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):
    Secondly, interpreting “to keep and bear arms” as applying only to hand-held weapons ignores the historical record that the British troops who marched on Lexington and Concord in 1775 were not seeking to seize small arms; their objective was the four cannon possessed by the Massachusetts militia. I’m pretty confident the Founders had not forgotten this when drafting the Bill of Rights.

    Plus, the Constitution specifically authorizes Congress to issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal – to privately-owned warships, complete with artillery.

    • #20
  21. Postmodern Hoplite Coolidge
    Postmodern Hoplite
    @PostmodernHoplite

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):
    Secondly, interpreting “to keep and bear arms” as applying only to hand-held weapons ignores the historical record that the British troops who marched on Lexington and Concord in 1775 were not seeking to seize small arms; their objective was the four cannon possessed by the Massachusetts militia. I’m pretty confident the Founders had not forgotten this when drafting the Bill of Rights.

    Plus, the Constitution specifically authorizes Congress to issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal – to privately-owned warships, complete with artillery.

    Thanks, @seawriter – I had forgotten about this completely, and it adds much to the discussion.

    • #21
  22. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):
    Secondly, interpreting “to keep and bear arms” as applying only to hand-held weapons ignores the historical record that the British troops who marched on Lexington and Concord in 1775 were not seeking to seize small arms; their objective was the four cannon possessed by the Massachusetts militia. I’m pretty confident the Founders had not forgotten this when drafting the Bill of Rights.

    Plus, the Constitution specifically authorizes Congress to issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal – to privately-owned warships, complete with artillery.

    When To Bear Arms, is to be borne up by them in smoke-filled seas.

    • #22
  23. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    I share your enthusiasm for the private ownership of guns. Were I making the rules, the right to carry a gun, visible or concealed and without any kind of license, would be the default in every state.

    I think the founders were intending to secure the right to possess what were typically considered “arms,” including those arms that would be carried and used by a soldier. I doubt that they were thinking of large “weapon systems” per se, the only ones of which they had at the time were military vessels. A reasonable case could be made to include cannon and mortar as arms, as I think that’s historically consistent, but I’d be sympathetic to anyone who wanted to argue against that as well.

    The word “bear” seems meaningful. People don’t “bear” a tank, a fighter jet, nor an ICBM. The kinds of arms people bear are necessarily limited in size and weight. They were also, in the time of the framers, inherently limited in destructive power, given that destructive power and size were generally commensurate in a world lacking NBC technologies. I think we can reasonably assume that the framers would not have intended to include such technologies as nuclear and biochemical weapons in their use of the word “arms,” had they been aware of such weapons. On the other hand, I’m sure they would have included all modern infantry sidearms and rifles.

    So it seems a reasonable interpretation is that they intended to protect the right for individuals to possess weapons of those classes which a man could in their day reasonably bear — swords, knives, handguns, long guns — and at least equivalent to those available to a soldier.

    Hank, I agree with you, for what it’s worth.

    If we’re talking about the 2nd Amendment itself, we should start with the text, which does not define the term “arms.”  This word might mean any type of weapon, or might be limited to the type that it would be possible to “keep and bear.”  
    This issue is discussed in Scalia’s majority opinion in the Heller case, at length.  He reaches the same conclusion as Hank.

    It is worth reading, but I can’t provide a link because I’m writing on my phone (help would be appreciated).

    Under this rule, a tank or A-10 or artillery piece is not permitted. An M-16 or AK-47 or bazooka or panzerfaust or RPG is permitted.

    • #23
  24. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    I share your enthusiasm for the private ownership of guns. Were I making the rules, the right to carry a gun, visible or concealed and without any kind of license, would be the default in every state.

    I think the founders were intending to secure the right to possess what were typically considered “arms,” including those arms that would be carried and used by a soldier. I doubt that they were thinking of large “weapon systems” per se, the only ones of which they had at the time were military vessels. A reasonable case could be made to include cannon and mortar as arms, as I think that’s historically consistent, but I’d be sympathetic to anyone who wanted to argue against that as well.

    The word “bear” seems meaningful. People don’t “bear” a tank, a fighter jet, nor an ICBM. The kinds of arms people bear are necessarily limited in size and weight. They were also, in the time of the framers, inherently limited in destructive power, given that destructive power and size were generally commensurate in a world lacking NBC technologies. I think we can reasonably assume that the framers would not have intended to include such technologies as nuclear and biochemical weapons in their use of the word “arms,” had they been aware of such weapons. On the other hand, I’m sure they would have included all modern infantry sidearms and rifles.

    So it seems a reasonable interpretation is that they intended to protect the right for individuals to possess weapons of those classes which a man could in their day reasonably bear — swords, knives, handguns, long guns — and at least equivalent to those available to a soldier.

    Hank, I agree with you, for what it’s worth.

    If we’re talking about the 2nd Amendment itself, we should start with the text, which does not define the term “arms.” This word might mean any type of weapon, or might be limited to the type that it would be possible to “keep and bear.”
    This issue is discussed in Scalia’s majority opinion in the Heller case, at length. He reaches the same conclusion as Hank.

    It is worth reading, but I can’t provide a link because I’m writing on my phone (help would be appreciated).

    Under this rule, a tank or A-10 or artillery piece is not permitted. An M-16 or AK-47 or bazooka or panzerfaust or RPG is permitted.

    Jerry, thank you. I’d never read Scalia’s opinion in Heller, but I just did. It is, as is often the case with Scalia, very readable. I do miss him.

    His opinion on the Heller case can be found here.

    From that opinion:

    Putting all of these textual elements [of “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed”] together, we find that they guarantee the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.

     

    • #24
  25. Postmodern Hoplite Coolidge
    Postmodern Hoplite
    @PostmodernHoplite

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    This issue is discussed in Scalia’s majority opinion in the Heller case, at length.  He reaches the same conclusion as Hank.

    Thanks, @arizonapatriot, for a valid point. And as an attorney, it is understandable why you’d refer to the 2008 Heller decision as being the last definitive word on the issue.

    However, it must be acknowledged that SCOTUS is neither foolproof, nor incapable of handing down rulings that are compromises, rather than straight rulings on the Founders’ original intent. In this case, although I have great respect for the late Associate Justice, I think Scalia was being too clever by half. This resulted in a ruling that ends up undermining the fundamental character of the Second Amendment.

    • #25
  26. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    This issue is discussed in Scalia’s majority opinion in the Heller case, at length. He reaches the same conclusion as Hank.

    Thanks, @ arizonapatriot, for a valid point. And as an attorney, it is understandable why you’d refer to the 2008 Heller decision as being the last definitive word on the issue.

    However, it must be acknowledged that SCOTUS is neither foolproof, nor incapable of handing down rulings that are compromises, rather than straight rulings on the Founders’ original intent. In this case, although I have great respect for the late Associate Justice, I think Scalia was being too clever by half. This resulted in a ruling that ends up undermining the fundamental character of the Second Amendment.

    I do agree that Scalia was not infallible, though I think that he is the single best Justice in our history.  I found his historic and legal analysis persuasive, though there could be other historic examples to the contrary.  None have been cited in this discussion, but they may be out there.

    • #26
  27. Postmodern Hoplite Coolidge
    Postmodern Hoplite
    @PostmodernHoplite

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    None have been cited in this discussion, but they may be out there.

    Regretfully, I am traveling, and do not have access to the various sources I might otherwise rely upon to answer your query.

    Of course, I cannot presume to reply to a Supreme Court Justice of Scalia’s caliber, as I am not a jurist, nor have any formal legal training. What I can say is that Justice Scalia’s reasoning seems not to recognize the intent of the Founders. The various states’ militias must have the capacity to prevent the standing army of the Federal government from being used to implement tyranny. If the US Army is armed only with such weapons as may be “borne” by hand, then Scalia’s reasoning is sound. Otherwise, regardless of his scholarly arguments, he’s missing something.

    However, I appreciate the gist of your point, and do not casually or carelessly raise doubts upon the Heller decision. 

    • #27
  28. kidCoder Member
    kidCoder
    @kidCoder

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    The four most important words in the Second Amendment, the words that mean what they say, are “Shall Not Be Infringed”. Those four words are easy to define, easy to remember, and, I think, the source of the meaning and power of the Second Amendment. Any limits on the 2A would have to be explained in light of those four words. Gun background checks, in my opinion, heavily infringe on the Second Amendment, and should not be allowed.

    Background checks redefine “the people.” Thus the people’s right is not infringed.

    • #28
  29. Pony Convertible Inactive
    Pony Convertible
    @PonyConvertible

    TBA (View Comment):

    I’m with you. If it was up to me, the government wouldn’t tax weapons and ammunition either, as that infringes on the right of the poor to keep and bear arms. Market price only.

    Good point. If we follow the main stream thinking we apply to other “rights” (I use quotes because what they call rights, aren’t) then we should be providing government subsidies for ammo and guns.

    • #29
  30. KCVolunteer Lincoln
    KCVolunteer
    @KCVolunteer

    My paraphrases of hopefully interesting information follow in ().

    The Powers and Duties of the Town Officer, as Contained in the Statutes of Maine; with forms adapted thereto. Including also the powers and duties of Plantation & Parish Officers, and other useful matter. Third Edition, Improved. Hallowell:Glazier, Masters & Co. 1833.

    page 204 Militia

    Section 1. Terms of conditional exemption from military duty. (Persons with exemption were to pay $2 annually.)

    2. Town Treasurer’s duty as to monies paid by exempts.

    3. Duty of Selectmen and Overseers in providing arms and equipments in case of inability of privates to furnish themselves. (Those documented as to be too poor as to furnish their own arms and equipment would have the same furnished to them by the towns or districts in which they resided.)

    4. Duty of parents and masters, &c. to furnish minors with arms and equipments, or produce or produce certificate from Overseers. (IIRC at that time minors in the militia would be any person under the age of 21.)

    5. Penalty for towns neglecting to provide arms.

    6. Treasures to pay certificates of officers doing military duty.

    ib. Previous and subsequent duty of commanding officer.

    7. Towns and plantations to be supplied with ammunition.

    ib. Specification and amount of articles. (Quantities of gunpowder and musket balls, &c. o be stored locally in a convenient location. Repealed by Section 9.)

    8. Penalty for neglect.

    9. Part of said provision repealed, except-

    ib. Gov. to issue proclamation. (The Governor in cases of exigency is to proscribe the amounts of ammunition to be issued.)

    10. Duty of Selectmen or Assessors in case or invasion insurrection, or other emergency.

    ib. Expenses to be reimbursed by the Legislature.

    11. Penalty for neglect or refusal in such cases.

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