On Guns, the 2nd amendment, and the militia

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Kittamaru, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    OK, so. please question time:

    the second amendment references "a well regulated militia"... nifty. So that has been taken to mean every American, citizen or not. OK, cool...

    Why? Why is that important? A militia was mentioned in order to preserve the rights of the people from all threats, including the government...

    Well, we have the army, Navy, air force, Marines, coast Guard, national Guard, etc to protect us from outside threats.

    For inside threats... OK, let's assume for a moment the Feds went off reservation and decided to start mass removal of all rights and going full police state on us... what would we, citizens, do to fight back? if we took up arms, well... long story short (I'm on mobile and making more typos Tham I care to fix... damn you autocorrect) if we took up rifles and pistols and assault rifle and shotguns... what good would that do us against a military response involving APCs, IFVs, and other armored cars?
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  3. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    The best you can do is asymmetrical warfare like the Taliban. Areas of the country could become to costly to hold, like mountainous places or cities where there is a lot of cover.
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  5. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Nothing. Our strongest power is economic. The US relies on its economy for its military strength; cripple that and they lose their ability to project military force. And the workforce provides that labor.

    (I know this is not anything any gun supporter wants to hear, but the economy is a far more potent weapon to resist governmental tyranny than a handgun.)
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  7. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Right. The idea of creating a standing professional army was a heated subject of debate among the founding fathers, since some of them feared that giving the government a monopoly on armed force would facilitate the imposition of tyranny. The alternative proposed was a defense militia drawn from an armed citizenry, in much the way that armed civilians had risen to fight the British during the Revolution. In those days, it was expected that each soldier would provide his own firearm.

    Back then, the controversy was settled as so many were, by compromise. A standing military was in fact created, small at first, but the citizens militia idea wasn't forgotten. It was rolled together with the state-federal controversy, and the federal government was given control over the standing military, while the state governors were given control over the citizens' militias in their states. That is the origin of the National Guard. The idea seems to have been that if the federal government and its standing army tried to impose tyranny on the people, the states would have the means to resist. (That scenario actually happened in the 1860's, and the federal government won.)

    The idea of standing and fighting the US Army face-to-face in conventional World War II style battles would be foolishness. (Assuming that the Army would go to war against the US people.) But a popular insurgency like the US faced in with al-Quaida in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan might be successful. Tens of millions of American homes (including mine) contain firearms. If each household took down just a single federal officer in an ambush or a raid, the forces of tyranny would crumble.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2016
  8. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    the 2nd may be secondary to the 9th:
    “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
    "by the people" = no militia required?
  9. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

    Good shot, sculptor.

    And those fine people are presumably keepers of the oath they took.
  10. sculptor Valued Senior Member


    Small confession:
    Though I had above ts clearance, I never swore the oath.
    If memory serves, the oath required me to swear to uphold the constitution and obey the orders of the cic, etc... .
    So, I dropped my hand, shut up, and, later, in explanation, said: "Give me one or the other".
    Out of maybe 30 of us, I was the only one who stopped "swearing". I seriously doubt that most inductees circa 1967 actually thought about what they were swearing.

    I never could get comfortable swearing false oaths(or potentially false oaths).
    Didn't really matter.
    It was Nam time and they didn't seem to think it appropriate to turn anyone away for something as silly as an oath.
    If there is a conflict in the oath--------which side does one take?
  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    No. What has been taken to mean "every American" is the subsequent term, in the main clause: "the people". Is that a stretch, do you think?

    That's not how it's done. Look at how tyranny is imposed on people in real life - we have dozens of examples, many recent enough to have involved modern militaries. They almost never do. The enforcers of tyranny are invariably small neighborhood paramilitary squads of goons and criminal thugs protected by the State, the local police under cover of State authority, and so forth. Forces loyal, small, and vulnerable enough to remain under reliable control of the strongman or plutocracy. They're your neighbors, not the Air Force.
    The way it worked all over South and Central America, without a gun one's participation in the labor force was controlled by the local boss and his armed enforcers. So economic leverage was in the hands of the State or Company, not the laborer, and was used to impose tyranny, not resist it. The prerequisite to that was a disarmed citizenry, which could be controlled by a small number of armed thugs loyal to the local boss.

    Another example would be the KKK in the US, which could not be resisted by a largely (and deliberately) disarmed black population, whose economic leverage as the major source of productive labor in many communities was thereby made ineffectual.
  12. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    Not. Adult white males of good standing in their communities. They might be called to arms on short notice, if there were a threat to sovereignty or security.

    Those early colonies were far more vulnerable than the great big modern federation is. Nor was their fresh-minted government all of a piece or all of one mind on a number of issues - which is why the Civil war happened. Everybody armed.... but what a shambles!

    That's exactly what the framers didn't want. It's a huge, cumbersome financial burden, and it makes big international messes (because having committed so much of the nation's substance to it, that military might has to justify its existence - its size, its budget, its suppliers' profits - every few years, and tempts politicians into rash actions) that the diplomats can't clean up.

    Nothing effective. They don't even need the military: the police forces are sufficient to overcome any resistance from the citizens. moreover, the government has all the legal powers required to do pretty much anything it wants to anyone it wants.
    That nonsense about resisting a gun registry because it might "tell them which doors to knock on" is sheer self-delusion. They don't need to knock: they can break down any door, any time, organize random searches and unwarranted seizures; bug your phone and computer... anything. You gave them those powers when they said: "Boo! There's a terrist under your bed."
  13. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    so, overall, it really seems that the 2nd amendment is antiquated and no longer serves its original purpose, and is now simply used to "justify" a lack of regulations on lethal tools with very limited scope of purpose.
  14. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    You are entitled to that opinion. A great many people regard it as naive and careless, however.

    And in either case, the Amendment remains a Constitutional provision, firmly emplaced in the Bill of Rights.
  15. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    May I ask how it is an opinion, rather than a simple statement of fact?

    Show me how "We the people" would stand a snowballs chance if the military were to back a government power-grab.

    Im not saying that the right to bear arms needs to go away - simply that it may be time to "get real" and reevaluate our reasons. After all - this is a document from quite a different Era.
  16. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Is the rule of law antiquated?
  17. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    Not only is it antiquated, but it's also deliberately distorted in the present application. Most of the people who cite it as their vindication to buy and keep lethal weapons have no desire whatever to participate in military exercises, or commit to military service.

    However... It could be put to a very good public use. Local police forces could organize regular militia classes for citizens with guns, where they learn more about the function and care of their weapon, safe handling and storage, marksmanship, discipline and responsibility. This would also be a social occasion for the community and its protectors to become better acquainted. It would cut down on accidental shootings, possibly alert local authorities to an armed, unstable element on their patch and maybe even line up some of that American frontier spirit on the side of Good - which is where most people like to think of themselves anyway.
  18. Bells Staff Member

    You forget..

    A lot of the gun advocates believe the Government is after their guns. So they could see local police forces organising such classes as a means to determine which one of them has guns. You know, for when they break down the doors and come for said guns when the Government has become tyrannical.
  19. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Si vis pacem, para bellum

    A well armed citizenry is the only viable defense against tyranny.

    Couple'a stray thoughts:
    Who here does not think that corporate entities would impose tyranny?
    Who here does not see growing legislative power in the hands of corporate entities?
    Is that why Bernie Sanders and Donald trump have gained such strong followings?
    Is a rise against the growing power of corporate entities doomed to failure?
  20. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    I'd love to see this happen! There's a lot of people who think k they know how to use guns, when in reality they'd probably be more dangerous to themselves than an adversary if the chips were down.
  21. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    That can change.
  22. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Because many people feel that it is fulfilling its original purpose just fine - preventing the government from banning private gun ownership. Your opinion that it does not is just that - an opinion.
    By allowing the economy to collapse, then establishing a new government once the US military could no longer afford all those weapons (or soldiers.)
    Fortunately we have tools in place to modify it if we wish.
  23. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Me. They would seek profit, not tyranny.
    Me. The only power they have is through the people. That is still a significant amount of power, but it is not in their hands - it is in ours.
    No. Donald Trump is the epitome of corporate power. Heck, he is using his own campaign to enrich himself; the campaign (financed largely by donations) is being used to buy Trump wine, rooms at Trump hotels, fly on Trump jets, support Trump golf courses and sell Trump products. (Many of which, of course, are made in China.)

    His "I am not in the hands of corporate America!" is one of those lies so large that most people can't even see it.
    Given that that "rise" is supporting people like Trump - definitely.

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