1. I have no problem with gun control per se. But can we stop pretending that the Second Amendment was written to protect hunters and sportsmen? We should keep its true purpose in mind when considering new legislation.

  2. I’ve always been baffled at the controversy over the 2nd Amendment’s meaning. It seems clearly to protect the right of the people of a free state to keep and bear arms for the purpose of maintaining a well regulated militia. How can there be much debate about the appropriateness of gun regulations when the word “regulated” is right there in a single sentence Amendment.

  3. I don’t think anybody has argued that all gun regulations are unconstitutional. But when people make the argument that people don’t “need” guns for purposes other than hunting or sport shooting or home defense, and that any regulation that restricts ownership beyond that is A-OK, they’re completely ignoring the purpose of the amendment.

    The Second Amendment was passed to allow citizens to resist a government that has become tyrannical or to deter tyranny in the first place. You can call that crazy our outdated, but the bottom line is if we no longer want that amendment as part of our constitution, we should repeal it.

  4. Khaki: You might want to read the SCOTUS decision in DC v. Heller. The prefaratory clause does not affect the operative clause. The operative clause is what defines the right.

  5. RE: DC vs. Heller: Another 5/4 decision from the Roberts court that upends decades (centuries) of precedent.

    I think the second amendment is the only amendment with a prefatory clause, so it’s seems to me that the framers were hedging. Did they contradict themselves in one grammatically incorrect sentence, or did they preface the operative clause with a limitation? I think it becomes clearer when you read Madison’s first draft:

    “A well regulated Militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; but no person religiously scrupulous shall be compelled to bear arms.”

    What was trimmed away here (besides the “religiously scrupulous” tag – intended to give religious objectors a way out of militia service) was the definition of who “the people” are. According to Madison, “the people” are a body that composes a militia. Now, I’ll concede that in modern times, it’s difficult to separate private citizens from 18th century concepts of militias (which were local and clearly intended by the Framers to be run separately from the “government” – something we don’t have today.) However, it seems clear (to me at least) that citizenry who had the right to bear arms also had the obligation to be “regulated”. The trick here is, if that’s the case, then who is doing the regulating? I understand the complication that arises in reconciling the intent of the second amendment to be a check on “government” and also allowing for somebody to “regulate”. But there’s the rub. The question to me isn’t can “somebody” regulate the “militias” comprised of “the people” (yes, by the Constitution, they can), but “who” can do the regulating and still maintain the integrity of the amendment to be a check on a potentially tyrannical government. I propose that, as centuries of precedent dictated before the Robert’s court weighed in, that the “people” represented by local governments – can (must) regulate themselves and even when “well regulated” their constituents act as the necessary check on the Federal Government.

  6. No it didn’t “upend decades (centuries) of precedent.” Steer squeezin’s. It re-affirmed long-established common-law precedent predating the American Revolution by centuries, after a vacuum of several decades in the 20th century without any decisions on the subject that some were trying to fill with their preferred alternate interpretation of the 2nd that was only originated in the 20th century. That you do not like the decision or that you have a mistaken opinion as to the history of the right does not change history itself on your behalf. You might want to go read the English Bill of Rights of 1689. As the Court acknowledged, neither it nor the 2nd Amendment created a new right, they affirmed what was already seen as an existing natural right of the people.

    If you want to know what the Court thought about the 2nd Amendment in the mid-1800’s, I’d refer you to the Dred Scott decision. While now thankfully defunct, the Court’s reasoning as to why Scott’s petition to be declared a free citizen should not be granted included a list of horrible things such a decision would entitle blacks to:

    It would give to persons of the negro race, …the right to enter every other State whenever they pleased, …to sojourn there as long as they pleased, to go where they pleased …the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went.”

    The right to keep and bear arms was a right of the individual citizen, one considered a “natural right” and not a government-granted one. You can not find any place in the Bill of Rights where the phrase “the people” does not mean the individual citizens of the United States, and does not refer to individual rights. The states themselves have the right to regulate their militias (the entire body of citizens capable of bearing arms) but few exercise it. That does not exclude their citizens from retaining their 2nd amendment rights. And thta is specifically why the authors of the Bill of Rights clearly segregated the prefatory militia clause from the operative clause that clearly delineated the right as a right of the poeple, which in all of the founding documents refers to the individual citizens of the United States.

  7. There can be NO justification for a right to have a weapon as a citizen, really, and all the stats back that fact up.

  8. The term “gun control” has become associated with taking away the right to bear arms. Citizens do have the right to bear arms, as provided by the 2nd amendment. What I do not understand is why certain solutions are left out of the debate, other than taking away the citizens right to bear arms. For example, it has long been known that gun manufacturers are well aware that a percentage of their production goes into the black market. Gun makers should be regulated. They should be required to have an audit at least 3 times per year, checking to make sure that every single gun made has an identifying serial number, that the buyers of said guns have gone through a check, and that serial numbers can be accounted for. There should be audits at the retail level as well.

    Citizens who want to own guns should also be included in audits, to prevent the resale of guns they purchased. If you want to own a gun, then you should also be willing to take more responsibility for that ownership. If someone breaks into your home, and steals a weapon that you, the owner, did not have properly secured, their should be repercussions to the owner, legal consequences.

    The buying and selling of guns should have to be done through proper procedures and channels. Selling a gun garage sale style, person to person, should be illegal, and legal and monetary consequence should be severe.

    The audits need to be rigorous, an effective auditing system in place.

    Yes, citizens have the right to bear arms. But with that right should come more accountability, for the sellers, and the buyers.

  9. I think accountability is the key word here. I would even go so far as to suggest that the last documented owner of a gun should have to face repercussions when the gun is used for a crime, a repercussion severe enough. If gun manufacturers are selling guns to the black market, and they are the last documented owner of the guns, they should have to face stiff consequences.

    More detail is needed, I know, for these suggestions to work, but I’m just sketching an outline, a beginning, to a new debate.

  10. Angela I’m not sure what problem you’re trying to solve with these ideas. The fact of the matter is that NOTHING you’ve described above would have prevented the shooting at Newtown. It seems like a solution in search of a problem…

  11. There can be NO justification for a right to have a weapon as a citizen, really, and all the stats back that fact up.

    Oh, well I guess that settles that. As long as you have stats