Second Amendment and Rules of Construction

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Jick Magger, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. Jick Magger Registered Senior Member

    What if the words had more than one normal and ordinary meaning? For example, the word "well" had at least eight different meanings at the time the Constitution was made, in the late 1700's. How do we ascertain which, if any, of those eight significations should be put on the word as we find it in the Second Amendment?

    What if the word are technical terms or terms of art? Do we just ignore the meaning given to the word by the learned in each art, trade, and science?
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  3. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    We read what the framers wrote about it, learn their arguments and the comprimises they made. There is a well established set of precedents about them.
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  5. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    It clearly states that people who belong to a well regulated militia - such as the National Guard - have the right to bear arms and protect itself from a tyrannical federal government.
    It's a state's rights issue, not an individual rights issues.
    The fact that Scalia and others of his ilk have interpreted it as an individual rights issue simply displays gross bias and a political agenda with pre-conceived notions.
    It's not an interpretation - it's a justification.
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  7. Buffalo Roam Registered Senior Member

    Actually you are wrong there are 20 different meanings to the world "Well"

    It Can be used as a adverb, adjective, noun, or as Idioms.

    In the Second Amendment, the well is a adjective, so for it's meaning to make sense it is the 12th definition that is applicable.

  8. TW Scott Minister of Technology Registered Senior Member

    Then why does it say "...the right of the People to keep and bear arsm shall not be infringed."?

    If it was meant for the militia only it would have only mentioned Millitia and never mentioned the People, which in every other amendment of the Bill of Rights applies to all People inside of the United States of America's Borders. Why would this one amednment be any different form the rest?

    Your argument is completely wrong and will remain as such untill you change it.
  9. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    As I said, a justification, not a valid interpretation.
    It very clearly states that this is in support of "A well regulated Militia" - there's no two ways about it, not if you want to be honest, at least.
    You can't take pieces and parts that agree with your personal opinion and disregard the rest.
    When the Ammendment was written, members of the well regulated state Militias kept, owned and maintained their own arms - they were not government owned.

    This was a direct and clear response to the fact that we had to fight a tyrannical government, and preserving the individual states' right to take up arms against the Federal Republic, if they needed to defend themselves.

    It ASTOUNDS me that people actually think this has anything to do with individual freedoms. Scalia knows better and as such should be run out of the Supreme Court.

    I do not support a federal ban on all arms, like some.
    I think, aside from a clear ban on assault weapons, the very different cultures in the states define this clearly as an issue that should be addressed on the state level.

    The right to keep and bear arms, however, does NOT apply consitutionally for those who are not members of a well regulated Militia.
  10. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    The point, as is so clearly spelled out in Federalist Papers #46, was to allow the states to control their own Militia force, as opposed to being under the the rule of the Federal Military:

    It had NOTHING to do with every day people's rights to carry weapons for personal self defense or any other reason than being a member of a well regulated Militia.
  11. Betrayer0fHope MY COHERENCE! IT'S GOING AWAYY Registered Senior Member

    At the time it was written, there were "at least" 8.
  12. Buffalo Roam Registered Senior Member

    But it still comes down to the Right of the People, not the government, all rights not specifically granted to the Government belong to the People, and the Constitution is very clear on that, so when the Constitution specifically say right of the people, it is talking about the citizens of the United States not the Government.

    This Amendment states that all rights not given the Government, stay with the people, as their rights, and that just because a Right is not enumerated by the Bill of Rights does not mean it belongs to the Government to Grant, but that it remains a Right of The People, to exercise, and cannot be "deny or disparage" or in in simple words, the Government cannot deny those Rights to the Citizen, for any reason.

    Simple enough, all Power Not Granted through the Constitution to the United States Government, remains wih, and are exclusively reserved, for the States, and or the People.
  13. snake river rufus Registered Senior Member

    Note that I edited some out for space
    Are you suggesting that the words "the right of the people,,," elsewhere in the constitution also only apply to the militia? or police?
    Most jurists disagree with the second point.
  14. Jick Magger Registered Senior Member

    That's what we do today. But, that's probably not what the lawmakers meant for us to do.

    At the time the Constitution was made, there were well established common law rules of construction and there is an abundance of evidence that the lawmakers took for granted that they would be applied to the Constitution.

    What do you know about the common law rules of construction existent at the time the Constitution was made?
  15. Jick Magger Registered Senior Member

    There's nothing clear about the Second Amendment. It was probably made to be ambiguous and perhaps even to deceive.
  16. Jick Magger Registered Senior Member

    To deceive people like you, who don't know the rules of construction.
  17. Jick Magger Registered Senior Member

    Where's the rule that says a law granting a right to one group can't mention a larger body to which that group belongs, especially if the lawmakers are being devious?

    Common sense dictates that we don't just automatically define the same word the same way wherever it occurs in the same instrument. It doesn't follow logically that because a word is used to signify a certain idea in one part of a writing, the same meaning is to be adopted in every other part where it occurs. To do that would require us to assume that the framers weighed only the force of single words and not whole clauses and objects, as practical statesmen.

    In common language, the same word has various meanings and the sense, in which it is used in any sentence, is to be determined by the context. An example of this is the use of the word "establish" in various places in the constitution.
  18. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    I said nothing of the sort, and I don't waste my time breaking down obvious strawmen.
  19. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The National Guard is not a militia.

    A militia is composed of ordinary citizens, not professional soldiers, who bring their own weapons or such weapons as are available from amateur sources, and are organized and trained for temporary service in response to an immediate need. It's one step above a posse. It can be organized at any level, including the local bingo parlor or (as in Iraq) the local church or (as in Lebanon) the local township or suburb - it's not necessarily a State level force.

    The right of the people to keep and bear arms is explicitly intended to allow private individuals to keep and bear such arms as would allow them to assemble into a "well-regulated" militia at need, bringing their weaponry from home.

    Whether that covers modern handguns might be in dispute, if long precedent had not grandfathered them in. It certainly includes highpowered semiautomatic rifles, and one could make an argument for assault rifles these days (I would add provisions contingent on the "well-regulated" aspect).
  20. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

  21. Roman Banned Banned

    Except for blacks, women, indians, and non-land owners....
  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Texas has a quasi militia, AFAIK the only US state that does. It is specifically described as such, to distinguish it from the National Guard, which is a professional armed force beholden to the Federal Government, a circumstance viewed with wariness by Texas.

    That isn't a militia, that is fighting in Iraq as we speak, under the command of the Pentagon.

    The point being, that the people keeping and bearing arms so as to be available for a militia should need arise (a frequent occurrence at the time) were not necessarily "members" of any kind of State run enterprise. That is why it is the people who are guaranteed the right of keeping and bearing the arms, and not the States, in that clause of the Constitution. Because militias are organized from the private citizenry, often by non-State entities, in response to need. And those people would need to bring their own weaponry.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2008
  23. Buffalo Roam Registered Senior Member


    In His commentaries on the Second Amendment, St. George Tucker, (the American Blackstone) a major constitutional theorist, published in Philadelphia in 1803:

    The National Guard is a federally regulated force, as such part of a Standing Army, it is not a Militia, it is armed by the Federal Government, and paid by the Federal Government, so it is a Federal Force, part of the Regular Army.

    And That is not in the definition of a Militia. Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source - Share This
    mi·li·tia /mɪˈlɪʃə/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[mi-lish-uh] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
    –noun 1. a body of citizens enrolled for military service, and called out periodically for drill but serving full time only in emergencies.
    2. a body of citizen soldiers as distinguished from professional soldiers.
    3. all able-bodied males considered by law eligible for military service.
    4. a body of citizens organized in a paramilitary group and typically regarding themselves as defenders of individual rights against the presumed interference of the federal government.


    [Origin: 1580–90; < L mīlitia soldiery, equiv. to mīlit- (s. of mīles) soldier + -ia -ia]

    mi·li·tia (mə-lĭsh'ə) Pronunciation Key
    1.An army composed of ordinary citizens rather than professional soldiers.

    2.A military force that is not part of a regular army and is subject to call for service in an emergency.

    3.The whole body of physically fit civilians eligible by law for military service.

    Online Etymology Dictionary - Cite This Source - Share This

    1590, "system of military discipline," from L. militia "military service, warfare," from miles "soldier" (see military). Sense of "citizen army" (as distinct from professional soldiers) is first recorded 1696, perhaps from Fr. milice. In U.S. history, "the whole body of men declared by law amenable to military service, without enlistment, whether armed and drilled or not" (1777).

    WordNet - Cite This Source - Share This militia

    1. civilians trained as soldiers but not part of the regular army
    2. the entire body of physically fit civilians eligible by law for military service; "their troops were untrained militia"; "Congress shall have power to provide for calling forth the militia"--United States Constitution

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