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Adapt Improvise Overcome
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236 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Greetings all,

As a non-U.S.A Citizen I have some questions about your 2nd ammendment.

Now, I am aware that my own native country used to be more gun owner friendly many years ago, but these days guns are in almost sole posession of the armed police units, armed forces and criminals along with a handful of others such as some farmers and gun club folks. In other words the general population is without armaments other than sticks and stones (we are not allowed to carry knives - which again, we used to be able to). From a nation that once dominated all it's competition with supreme personal firepower... (The English archers I am referring to, who practiced a LOT!)

At first I thought of putting this in the guns sections - but then it's not about technical details, it's just some questions about your rights.


1) In your constitution it says that you have the right be bear arms.
So who decides and how do they decide WHAT you are allowed to bear? Because it seems strange that the constitution doesn't give limitations on the fire-arm nor ammunition but yet you have all these laws which do just that.

2) In your constitution I don't remember seeing anything about having to register your arms, so why do you have that?


I am not trying to stir up an argument - I just would like to understand how and why this is the way it is - and importantly what you all think about it.
 

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To the Liberty Tree!
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1,312 Posts
Frankly, I think it sucks. :(

It is mostly state laws that have infringed and restricted our rights. My state, Massachusetts, has so many limitations that you almost need a book to explain it all. I am still not sure on all the laws.

For instance, I want to get a glock. I can only get a used glock manufactured from before 1998 that has NEVER left the state. Once a glock leaves Mass. it can never come back in.
Capacity is limited here... Mass law considers 10 rounds high capacity and the most you can have in a handgun.
 

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BEEN HERE TO LONG
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1,336 Posts
in tennessee you don't have to register unless you buy it new. if you buy one from a friend no register needed.
 

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"Fast Mover"
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236 Posts
Its up to the Supreme Court to interpret the Law/Constitution. Day by day the 9 justices are getting more liberal and are doing their own thing. 4 of the 9 are left wing fools, there is one sitting on the fence and 2 moderate conservatives, and the last 2 are staunch constitutionalists.

In time they will determine that the right to bear arms is for militia alone. (this is to weaken any revolt from the people. Slowly the Supreme Court will become more liberal and start choking the right of Americans away. Well they will do it at a faster rate than is currently being administered.

I hope the fan stakes the major crap slap long before they can steal my birth rights!

I love this nation, but I really hate this government, and I hope these so called leaders see their end in a flood of angry citizens with torches and 12 gauges.

Pointblank
Retired Soldier
 
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infowars.com
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421 Posts
are rights are given to use by birth the way they controll the guns is they ALLOW the gangs to run a muck and when someone innocent gets shoot they us that to show people they need these restrictions

they banned machine guns cause of the mafia wars during alchohol proabiton and since the 70's they have been blameing gangs for banning asault rifles and high powerd weapons they point the finger at the bad people and the sheeple just folow along

wich i have to say is pretty stupid they just keep regular people from defending them
selves so the criminals can rob them easier then people will demand harsher penaltys and more laws untill eventually you have no rights

criminals dont go to a gun store they just see the big homie are in my case some biker friends and the feds no who they are but allow it to happen most people think the fed government is god thte sates are suppose to govern them selves but since the 60's things started changeing to where we are now
 

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Poseur
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221 Posts
It doesn't even explicitly state that the people have a right to bear arms, it references the right to bear arms almost like it's ludicrous that there wouldn't be one. It says exactly:
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.
To me, the key word is infringed, any gun law or regulation seems to infringe upon on the 2nd amendment.
 

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I hear the bagpipes
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279 Posts
Thank you for the questions. Our constitutions 2nd Amendment guarantees the right of the individual to keep and bear arms. In attempting to discern the founders’ intent, it is useful to understand the circumstances under which the document was penned. Our “Federalist Papers” are a good place to begin, as they outline the debate concerning what should be included or omitted from our constitution. Essentially though, the clear intent of both sides was to limit the power of government through the language used to outline its powers. You are correct to note that limits on peoples’ liberty are not strongly outlined in the amendments or general text. That is because the founders were acting on the principle of preserving rights given to us by our creator at the time of our creation, which is different from creating rights as an entity of sovereign government. In fact, in the Declaration of Independence, the founders note the sole excuse for the existence of any government at all is to preserve those rights. You are correct that our constitution does not provide for the many laws that restrict and limit the peoples rights. Instead, it provides for judicial branch of government, which is our Supreme Court, which was supposed to provide a check on the power of the Executive and Legislative branches of government to enact such restrictions. Unfortunately, the aforementioned branches have often used to court to decide on the constitutionality of their clearly unconstitutional actions. The court then rules against the part of the action in question which they find unconstitutional, and permits the rest. In this manner, government then takes another step further from the founders’ intent. As liberal presidents appoint a liberalized Court, the bodies of government gain more and more power. In the larger picture, the end result is a clearly unconstitutional condition which would have never have been upheld by any court, had it been introduced in its final state at any one time. The court then relies on precedent for further rulings, resulting in insurmountable quagmire to face the constitutionalist in an effort to return to basic principles. Individual states can pass their own laws regarding firearms, and some are clearly more constitutional than others. The Supreme Court is biased toward hesitancy to restrict a states decision in most matters, so it’s difficult, but not impossible (Heller decision) to compel change.

Registration is nearly universally accepted to be the first step in confiscation, so there has been so far, an effective lobby against that practice. State governments are not keen to lots of Federal intervention, so resistance to registration comes from that quarter also.

Remember this if naught else; our rights and the declaration thereof, were written down as an expression of our pre-governmental state of existence. They were not granted to us or created by any human institution or king. Since our Creator gave them to us, they are only revocable by the same. Our constitution was intended primarily to limit the powers of government, not limit the rights of the people. What is indeed revocable by corrupt government is liberty.
 

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Adapt Improvise Overcome
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236 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
If you take the time to read Federal Judge Samuel Cummings decision in US vs Emerson in the link below you will read the most comprehensive answer to your quest to understand the Second Ammendment.

It is NOT a hard read.

http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/guns/emerson.htm
OK, I just finished reading that, thank you.

Now, from the perspective of an outsider I have these observations. Please correct me if I am wrong, and also please give your thoughts on them.

1. The Constitution of the United States of America is the supreme law of the land and the individual States may make laws pertinent to themselves, but which are always subserviant to the Constitution itself.

Now, what I am confused by is this.

- Who is 'interpreting' the Constitution and how on earth can this be right, surely Madison and the others did not intend their work to be interpreted but taken as is. This itself sets alarm bells ringing..

- The amount of laws is staggering! (My own country has more laws than any normal person could even expect to know - even the individually pertinant ones. Further more many conflict such as State vs European Union laws, and many are just plain nonsense) Again, surely there are far too many laws?

- It appears that the 'justice system' makes it up as they go along, and uses a continually building pile of previous 'cases' on which to argue for or against a given case. Surely this is bad? Does it not then often become a battle of sophistry?
 

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Liberty or Death
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986 Posts
1. The 2nd admentment means the right to bear all arms, as many as you want, and as much ammo as you want. But the librals want to take are guns away because they dont trust us.

2. Regitering arms is just a thing the liberals use to make it more likely that law abiding citizen die.

And that the unbias truth.
 

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Libertarian
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397 Posts
the law, to a certain extent, is changed on a case by case basis. This allows it to adapt to the changing circumstances of society. No law is written in stone and interpretation of said law is an on going thing. In some ways the law is indeed made up as it goes along, statutes only form a frame work for future interpretation. For the legal system to work any other way would mean the constant introduction of new laws, which would be over burdensome on the legislators. So the thing to remember when confronted with a law is to try on previous case history to make it work for your circumstances, or reinterpret it to suit.
Governments and the ruling classes do it all the time, it is only us underlings that have trouble grasping the concept. I remember hearing once that the most successful entrepreneurs change the rules to suit their outcomes.
A strict reading of the 2nd Amendment is as invalid today as it was the moment it was brought into law. It was always going to be manipulated by those in power to maintain that power, sometimes favoring the people, sometimes favoring the ruling class. It is all a game depends on how good you are at playing the game.
 

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I hear the bagpipes
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279 Posts
- It appears that the 'justice system' makes it up as they go along, and uses a continually building pile of previous 'cases' on which to argue for or against a given case. Surely this is bad? Does it not then often become a battle of sophistry?

Supreme Court judges will tend to decide along political lines rather than convincing constitutional arguments. Conservative judges will follow original constitutional principals more often than not, but still it is a matter of politics that placed them in their respective positions in the first place. That is to say that there is little need to attempt to fool them with hidden intentions. Special interests with well-known objectives and agendas present their case before the court. The public full understands the objective of the case brought forward, and the media does indeed become a sophist battleground as a result. However, public opinion will have no effect on the ruling. There are times however, that the public will limit the effect of a ruling by demanding that the state they live in pass laws effectively squelching the outcome for that particular state. Continuing on the Sophist battleground theme, we often end up with a deeply divided public, each side believing that the other has been wholly deceived.

The wisdom of using precedent to decide cases has been debated before this, but I’ll need to see who won the debate before I express an opinion about it.
 

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Crazy old man
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1,286 Posts
Nauthiz; 2nd question first,the framers of the law was thinking if an invading army came in the won't know who has what( the British).

Now the 1st question, our founding fathers time period the gun a man used to put meat on the table or to defend his home, or use with the militia was one in the same. To ban one is to ban them all. It's our obligation to defend our rights and our country.:cool:

The people should NEVER fear their goverment, but the goverment should fear the people. Thats is what the 2nd Amendment is for. Thats what we will fight for.:thumb:
 

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Happiness is 2 at low 8
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1,403 Posts
Now, what I am confused by is this.

- Who is 'interpreting' the Constitution and how on earth can this be right, surely Madison and the others did not intend their work to be interpreted but taken as is. This itself sets alarm bells ringing..

- The amount of laws is staggering! (My own country has more laws than any normal person could even expect to know - even the individually pertinant ones. Further more many conflict such as State vs European Union laws, and many are just plain nonsense) Again, surely there are far too many laws?

- It appears that the 'justice system' makes it up as they go along, and uses a continually building pile of previous 'cases' on which to argue for or against a given case. Surely this is bad? Does it not then often become a battle of sophistry?
Your observations are quite correct... Our Congress on a routine basis exceeds its Consitutional authority. Unfortunately they get away with it due to the clumsy mechanisms in place for the laws they pass to get brought before our Supreme Court. In other words they don't care if the laws they pass are legal, they'll continue to enforce them until the Justices tell them they can't. Think of it like your boss telling you that you have to work extra hours even though your labor contract says you don't. It will take 2 years before your grievance gets a full hearing and in the mean time you've had to work...

At this point in time, regarding the 2nd Amendment, the issue is what is the meaning of the word "infringed". We pro-gun types think "infringed" means "no limitations", whereas the most recent Supreme Court ruling on the issue (Heller) seems to indicate "infringed" only means the right to "keep and bear" cannot be restricted out of existance (e.g. they can't ban them outright or render all guns totally inoperable, but anything short of that is permissable.)

The biggest screw-up was the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934. That ruling set a precident that is hard for us to undo at this late date.

Allan
 

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Premium Member
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12,045 Posts
this link will take you to the highlights of the recent decision by our highest court since you are seeking to understand the 2nd this is well worth the read......
http://www.nraila.org/Issues/FactSheets/Read.aspx?id=235&issue=010

i hope this will help you understand better the answers to the questions already answered by members here in this forum........
also we currently have the oldest form of government on earth, it is by design that ''we strive and progress by fault''..........
 

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Poseur
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221 Posts
the law, to a certain extent, is changed on a case by case basis. This allows it to adapt to the changing circumstances of society. No law is written in stone and interpretation of said law is an on going thing. {...} It is all a game depends on how good you are at playing the game.
You are, for the most part, correct. The only argument I have is that we aren't really dealing with laws here per se, they are inalienable rights which have been designated, by their definition, that they are not to be infringed upon. There's a big difference between the interpretation around say, obscenity laws, which are inherently subjective and the interpretation around a statement such as "Congress shall make no laws..."

But yes, people in power have made persuasive arguments for a particular viewpoint on the Constitution based upon popular sentiment of the times. I mean, today, can anyone seriously support the constitutionality of Prohibition laws? They were absurd. But popular sentiment at the time made it seem like a good idea.

Personally, I don't want popular sentiment to have an effect on the Constitution. That's why I support organizations that fight gun legislation.

The way the legal system is set up now, the police can pretty much pull you in for anything, public nuisance, creating a hazardous condition, suspicious activity, numerous tag or registration mistakes, illegal gathering, etc. etc., a few more gun laws, and it'll be the same thing with guns.
 

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Libertarian
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397 Posts
fair point of view Splint.
If Obama gets in where to then?
He will either amend the constitution or change the law to suit his ends.
Mind you, the amount of guns held by private individuals in the US would seem to make the task of collecting them all impossible. If you did manage it how much scrap metal would be produced, worth a lot to the chinese.
 

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Poseur
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221 Posts
What can you do? Get involved with organizations that fight against gun laws and be thankful your grandfather bought a bunch of guns back before you had to register :).
 
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