Sunday, November 13, 2005

Question Of The Week, 11/13/05

Good morning. I'm kind of liking this idea of having the series of related questions. I don't have to search the news wires to get an idea, just get out the Constitution. This weeks Question Of The Week is. What is the meaning of (The Second Amendment) "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'll post my answer in the Comment Section Monday night.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic


Blogger Spyder said...

Although the debate as to whether your average citizen should bear arms or not is a little ambiguous in the constitution,you cannot make an assumption on that alone. An intelligent person will look further than that. You MUST read other papers that the framers of that magnificent document have written. The verdict? They DEFINITELY meant that the individual should have that right in case the government became out of control. Some people think that that would never happen here! I read the news today,oh boy.......

10:21 AM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

the right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed

With all due respect to Spyder, I think that portion of the Second Amendment is clear. Also, notice that militia gets separate mention and first mention. Telling, I think.

I wholeheartedly agree with Spyder that other papers on the part of the framers indicate the following: They DEFINITELY meant that the individual should have that right in case the government became out of control.

The colonists were armed as individuals and were mindful that individuals' bearing of arms is an effective checks-and-balances system. And bearing arms may be our salvation should riots similar to those in France erupt here. However, those in cities such as San Francisco, NYC, and D.C. will be up the creek.

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Jake Porter said...

There was no national guard at that time. Well regulated meant well prepared not filled with regulations. It is the second amendment that protects all of our freedoms.

6:39 PM  
Blogger David Schantz said...

I might as well give up on that posting my answer on Monday night idea. Because of my strange work hours I never get it done until early Tuesday morning. I want to thank all of you for your answers. Jake, you got it right, the Second Amendment is the one that protects the rest."A well-regulated militia", who would that be? A lot of people will tell you every able bodied man between the ages of 16 and 45. Others say to find the local militia look in the white pages of the phone book, attorneys, politicians and judges are excluded everyone else is a member. "being necessary to the security of a free state", who does the militia protect the free state from? The politicians that would infringe upon any of the rights mentioned in the Constitution. We should use the ballot box before turning to the ammo box.I will never be able to figure out what is so hard to understand about, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed". YOU! have the right to own firearms. It is your resposibility to protect yourself, your family and your property.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic

11:58 PM  
Blogger maccusgermanis said...

Again, my understanding of this comes from my belief that the grandiose dreams of our founders were much more practical than either side often admits. The Bill of Rights is primarily a limitation of powers on a newly established federal government.

from the preamble of the Bill of Rights
"THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution."

Sorry for such a long post, but I think the preamble is very important in understanding the intent of what is clear language, so long as it is taken in its proper context.

4:05 PM  
Blogger American Crusader said...

The key question is what's meant by a "well regulated militia". Clearly it states that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed...that seems pretty clear, but what is a well regulated militia? It must mean something more than just your average gun owners. I think you must take into account when the Constitution was written. I'm not really sure what it means.

2:45 PM  
Blogger maccusgermanis said...

Concerning the useage of "well regulated," I found this site interesting and concise.

Also the sentence structure does not list "well regulated" as a prerequisite to the right to bear arms, but rather the right to bear arms, a prerequisite to a "well regulated" (well practised) militia. Both building blocks to the security of the state.

Too take into account when the constitution was written should lead one to consider the lack of any plans to retain a standing army after the War of Independence. The security of the state having been reliant on the martial skills of citizens, the citizens were encouraged to practise.

7:26 PM  
Blogger The Sovereign Editor said...

I agree with always on watch, so I will not repeat what was said since where two people hold the same opinion, one of them is not necessary.

I will however add a lawyer's perspective. In law school, we are taught that the excessive commas in the article confuse the Supreme Court justices. Indeed, the poor comma use confuses me. I frankly don't understand what the reasoning for the comma placement is, but as a professional editor, the version of the Second Amendment that we most often see would not have made it past my desk. "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." We are told that this grammatically incorrect article is the official version sanctioned by the government of these United States. Indeed, it is. It appears in many government publications. But what would you say if the grammatically correct form also appeared in official government publications, and has done so since the early 1800s? Because it has. 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. There you have it, in clear English: The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. That is an official version of the Second Article of Amendment printed for the Senate of these United States by the Government Printing Office.

What I would like to know is why don't the courts use this one? It's much less confusing.

3:24 PM  
Blogger Katherine Thayer said...

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10:58 PM  

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