Why did the founders give us the 2nd amendment?

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Daedalus X
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Why did the founders give us the 2nd amendment?

Post #1

Post by Daedalus X »

In another thread a member made the following claim.
Danmark wrote: You continue to demonstrate your misunderstanding of the Constitution. The 2d amendment was not created to facilitate armed rebellion against the very country the Constitution created. As it says itself, it was created so a 'well regulated militia' could protect the State.
Question for debate, why did the founders create the second amendment?

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Re: Why did the founders give us the 2nd amendment?

Post #2

Post by Daedalus X »

Danmark wrote: You continue to demonstrate your misunderstanding of the Constitution. The 2d amendment was not created to facilitate armed rebellion against the very country the Constitution created. As it says itself, it was created so a 'well regulated militia' could protect the State.
Yes, you are right, it was created so a 'well regulated militia' could protect the State from a tyrant and a standing federal army, as well as external threats.

Given that the founding fathers had just finished an armed rebellion against the very country that the belonged to, I find it difficult to believe that if it would again become necessary for future generations to rise up against a tyrannical government they would be denied by the founding fathers.

These are the same founding fathers that said "But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.�

When they said "throw off such Government" do you really think they meant to do it by mail or email. Absolutely not, it was at the business end of firearms.
The Federalist Papers : No. 29 wrote:But though the scheme of disciplining the whole nation must be abandoned as mischievous or impracticable; yet it is a matter of the utmost importance that a well-digested plan should, as soon as possible, be adopted for the proper establishment of the militia. The attention of the government ought particularly to be directed to the formation of a select corps of moderate extent, upon such principles as will really fit them for service in case of need. By thus circumscribing the plan, it will be possible to have an excellent body of well-trained militia, ready to take the field whenever the defense of the State shall require it. This will not only lessen the call for military establishments, but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist.
The Federalist Papers : No. 46 wrote:The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence.
George Mason wrote:Forty years ago, when the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British parliament was advised by an artful man, [Sir William Keith] who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people. That it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.
Patrick Henry wrote:Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force: Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.
Tench Coxe wrote:As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow-citizens, the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.

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Re: Why did the founders give us the 2nd amendment?

Post #3

Post by Clownboat »

Daedalus X wrote: In another thread a member made the following claim.
Danmark wrote: You continue to demonstrate your misunderstanding of the Constitution. The 2d amendment was not created to facilitate armed rebellion against the very country the Constitution created. As it says itself, it was created so a 'well regulated militia' could protect the State.
Question for debate, why did the founders create the second amendment?
If we ask them, we get things like this:

"I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery."
- Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, January 30, 1787

"What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms."
- Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, December 20, 1787

"The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed."
- Thomas Jefferson, letter to to John Cartwright, 5 June 1824

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
- Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

"To disarm the people...s the most effectual way to enslave them."
- George Mason, referencing advice given to the British Parliament by Pennsylvania governor Sir William Keith, The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adooption of the Federal Constitution, June 14, 1788

"The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country."
- James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434, June 8, 1789

It would seem to me that you are on to something with your observation.
"Yes, you are right, it was created so a 'well regulated militia' could protect the State from a tyrant and a standing federal army, as well as external threats."
You can give a man a fish and he will be fed for a day, or you can teach a man to pray for fish and he will starve to death.

I blame man for codifying those rules into a book which allowed superstitious people to perpetuate a barbaric practice. Rules that must be followed or face an invisible beings wrath. - KenRU

It is sad that in an age of freedom some people are enslaved by the nomads of old. - Marco

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Post #4

Post by 2ndRateMind »

It may be worth revisiting what the second amendment actually says.

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

It seems to me we have a hierarchy of good things, here. The highest good is the security of a free state. The subsidiary and dependent on that good is a well regulated militia. The tertiary and dependent on that subsidiary good is the right of the individual to keep and bear arms.

So, it seems to me that properly construed, the second amendment champions the right of Americans to keep and bear arms, within the context of a well regulated militia, where that militia is considered necessary to the security of the free state. If the security of the state is not threatened, there is no need for a well regulated militia. And if the militia is unnecessary, the right of the people to keep and bear arms evaporates. The second amendment, on examination, certainly does not justify the the widespread and unregulated distribution of fire-arms the NRA might like it to.

It seems to me that American states are adequately secure from internal threat. I cannot foresee a circumstance in which Alabama invaded New York, for example. As for external, international threats, these are far more effectively dealt with at the national level, than by state militia, however well regulated. But even if they weren't, the second amendment is clear; US citizens have the right to keep and bear arms only within the context of a well regulated militia, and certainly not as an undisciplined, general, right to carry arms.

So, the well regulated militia is irrelevant to the security of of the state, and the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms has become divorced from the the well regulated militia. My own feeling is that Americans would be happier and safer should they recognise this reality, and take appropriate action to rectify the discrepancy.

Best wishes, 2RM.
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Post #5

Post by AgnosticBoy »

2ndRateMind wrote: So, it seems to me that properly construed, the second amendment champions the right of Americans to keep and bear arms, within the context of a well regulated militia, where that militia is considered necessary to the security of the free state. If the security of the state is not threatened, there is no need for a well regulated militia. And if the militia is unnecessary, the right of the people to keep and bear arms evaporates. The second amendment, on examination, certainly does not justify the the widespread and unregulated distribution of fire-arms the NRA might like it to.
While I'm not worried about Alabama attacking another state but I am worried about the Federal government abusing their power and forcing states to comply.

I assume that you mean that the need for arms evaporates temporarily if there were no threats. My thinking is while there may not be threats currently, that doesn't mean there won't ever be any. It would only be a matter of Faith to want to believe such a thing.

I also don't see where the Founders thought like you and thinking that you only need security when something happens. In my view, a threat can occur at anytime and even unexpectedly. It's always good to have some security in place. I think this even applies at the individual level. If I go out at night I can't say that there is no risk of being a victim of crime just because I don't know about a threat. It would be smart to have some protection (a gun) at hand just so I can be ready if something does happen.

"I'd rather have it and not need it than to need it and not have it".

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Post #6

Post by Gracchus »

A well-regulated militia is properly enrolled, trained and equipped. The British did not march on Concord and Lexington to collect privately owned rifles and shotguns. They were after the armories where the Massachusetts militia stored their military muskets.
Times change and laws, even the US Constitution must adapt or perish.
If you want to enroll in the National Guard then you should have the right to bear arms. If you want to go hunting, you should, as they do in Germany, go to a lodge, pick up your gun and a licensed guide and go hunting.
But the present state of things where children are gunned down as collateral damage in drive-by gang shootings can not be allowed to continue.

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Post #7

Post by Gracchus »

My previous post stated, "If you want to enroll in the National Guard then you should have the right to bear arms."

It should have read, "If you want to enroll in the National Guard then you should have the right to bear arms while on duty."

:study:

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Post #8

Post by Gracchus »

My previous post stated, "If you want to enroll in the National Guard then you should have the right to bear arms."

It should have read, "If you want to enroll in the National Guard then you should have the right to bear arms while on duty."

:study:

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Post #9

Post by Gracchus »

I have read, and it seems plausible, that the 2nd amendment was, at least partially, to ensure that slave owners could send armed catchers to retrieve runaways.

:study:

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Post #10

Post by Clownboat »

Gracchus wrote: A well-regulated militia is properly enrolled, trained and equipped. The British did not march on Concord and Lexington to collect privately owned rifles and shotguns. They were after the armories where the Massachusetts militia stored their military muskets.
Times change and laws, even the US Constitution must adapt or perish.
If you want to enroll in the National Guard then you should have the right to bear arms. If you want to go hunting, you should, as they do in Germany, go to a lodge, pick up your gun and a licensed guide and go hunting.
But the present state of things where children are gunned down as collateral damage in drive-by gang shootings can not be allowed to continue.
To the bold.
Drive by shootings are illegal already. (They are not allowed).

Consider guns. Law abiding citizens like myself would give up our guns. I fear that those committing drive-bys will be unaffected by taking away my hunting rifle and shotgun though. I would think that they will continue to do what they already do even though it is currently not allowed.

My point is that making things illegal would affect those who abide by the law. Like myself. Someone that does not commit drive-bys.
I don't see how taking my hunting guns would affect the result you are after here in this example.

I do agree with your sentiments though. You get a big 'NO' to drive-bys from me.
You can give a man a fish and he will be fed for a day, or you can teach a man to pray for fish and he will starve to death.

I blame man for codifying those rules into a book which allowed superstitious people to perpetuate a barbaric practice. Rules that must be followed or face an invisible beings wrath. - KenRU

It is sad that in an age of freedom some people are enslaved by the nomads of old. - Marco

If you are unable to demonstrate that what you believe is true and you absolve yourself of the burden of proof, then what is the purpose of your arguments? - brunumb

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