Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

To answer the question NEVER asked. (by Alex)

Ok, so it seems that some (maybe just a few) now at least acknowledge the possibility that perhaps the question I answered wasn’t the one they wanted to debate, I will move on and answer “What do you think the 2nd meant at the time of ratification, and does THAT matter today?”. I know I belabored the previous point, but I am a stickler for a clear logical debate, and since agreeing whether BOTH sides are inferring from the evidence (as opposed to one side being "factually true" and the other not) changes the nature of the argument, I felt it important to get it started right. (by the way, to the person that recommended I get a dictionary to check the meaning of ‘infer’, I used it precisely as found in

in·fer Audio pronunciation of "infer" P Pronunciation Key (n-fûr)
v. in·ferred, in·fer·ring, in·fers
v. tr.

  1. To conclude from evidence or premises.
  2. To reason from circumstance; surmise: We can infer that his motive in publishing the diary was less than honorable.

Those who still can’t see the difference are trying to use emotional arguments to win a logical battle, and they will never be able to pull that off. But enough of that.

What do I think they meant?

First off, I believe that the first part of the sentence is, in fact a modifier. If they wanted to say “everyone should have guns” they would have left the first part off because the second part does that so admirably well all on its own. From a strictly logical point of view (we aren’t getting into the semantics yet) it doesn’t make sense to say that the first part “explains” the second part, in any meaningful way, if the actual intent was “let everybody have guns”. Again, I am not parsing words here (yet) or getting into a debate about the historical meaning of the words (yet). I am focusing right now on a logical proof which I will try and outline below (and no matter how carefully I do this, I know that it will be misquoted back to me).

1.) If you believe that the entire 2nd, as written, effectively says “each individual has the right to arms”


2.) The last part of the 2nd (the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed) effectively says “each individual has the right to arms”

then it follows that

3) the first part of the phrase (A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State ) must mean nothing OR the number 1 cannot be true.

Again, before I am crucified, let's examine what I actually just said. A mathematical formula will help prove my point (again, just focusing on the logic so far)

If I have three numbers X, Y, and Z, these are the rules reflected above:

If X + Y = Z and

Y = Z

Then X must equal 0. You can’t add (or subtract) any number but zero to the equation and have it work. Using this line of logic, you can’t add anything to the phrase “each individual has the right to arms” and still have it equal “each individual has the right to arms”. This means that if the 2nd does actually mean “each individual has the right to arms” (and I think that is the result most of you are arguing for- an assumption on my part, but that’s the way it seems to me) the first part of the phrase means, for all practical purposes, nothing.

Just as a logical exercise, this leads me to believe that the premise the 2nd, in its entirety, does not mean “each individual has the right to arms”. I believe (an opinion) that the first phrase does, in fact- must, restrict the second part, if for no other reason that if all they wanted was the second part, it was written perfectly unrestricted already.

But that is only a logical exercise, and just as I criticize those who would rely solely on what was in some founder’s head as the only justification for a belief, it would be equally stupid for me to base my opinion on this logic problem, with no sense of historical context or underlying intent of this amendment’s creation.

What does the Militia part mean?

Yes, I know the definition of militia, from about the time they created included the concept of all able bodied men. Yes, they were ordinary citizens. And yes I can hear the collective “Aha, gotcha” from the readers of this site.

However (and you just knew there would be a ‘however’) it seems to involve more than just being a citizen with a gun. It was inextricably linked (in my opinion) to the concept of common defense. In the Miller case it cited Virginia’s statute (among others):

     The General Assembly of Virginia, October, 1785, (12 Hening's
Statutes) declared, "The defense and safety of the commonwealth
depend upon having its citizens properly armed and taught the
knowledge of military duty."
     It further provided for organization and control of the
Militia and directed that "All free male persons between the ages
of eighteen and fifty years," with certain exceptions, "shall be
inrolled or formed into companies." "There shall be a private
muster of every company once in two months."

As I read that, my interpretation is for a “civilian service”, to be available to be called up and put into the use to quell insurrections, and protect the citizens from hazards that were inside the states (as opposed to outside- which the armed forces were for).

I think (again an opinion) that the effect of a militia, as discussed at these times, was essentially a ready made “draft” for those who could protect the state from “trouble within”, since once you had armies marching down the street against their own people, you just brought back the tyranny we fought against. So, the reasoning goes, you have one army to fight external forces, never to police within our borders, and you have a flexible, call them if you need them, everybody bring you own damn gun force of citizens to patrol internal strife.

Why do I think that?

Because they talk, in many different ways of how the groups (militias) should be organized. They should have companies etc. They should meet and drill etc. It should be comprised of so many musketeers. This makes me think of organized regiments- more of a squad, than an individual.

Even when they basically say that individuals must pay for their own guns (I paraphrased) that leads me to believe that the intent of creating laws to arm citizens was to say “it’s a standing force of bring your own guns citizens” not a “every armed individual independently”. If it was just “you should own a gun because it will keep you free” why mention the “you gotta pay for it” part? It’s to emphasize that this standing army (bad word for it, but short on time) will not be provided weapons when they assemble.

I gotta run for now, and I know this is an incomplete answer- I will get back to it tomorrow if I can.

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