And at the last area safety meeting conducted for my merchant area, the police emphatically told the shopkeepers and restaurant employees NOT to keep guns, because they are "11 times more likely to get hurt with their own gun than (you) are to use it against someone in defense."
oralloy wrote:Thomas wrote:oralloy: Can you post a link to those militia laws please?
Some gun control *was* fine under the English Bill of Rights. This was only a right to have a musket (the militia arm of the day). The right did not cover hunting shotguns or concealable handguns, which were against the law for most people.
Source? Sorry for being obnoxious, but this is a debate where opinions are frequently stronger than the evidence supporting them, hence my insistence on evidence.
oralloy wrote:Today, the right would cover automatic rifles, but not other types of weapons (see the Swiss Militia for a perfect example of what was intended with the Second Amendment).
I am not convinced of this. Neither the English Bill of Rights nor Blackstone distinguish between individual and collective self-defense. They both refer to "their defense". The State Constitutions I linked to earlier have two versions of language: some say "for the defense of themselves and the state", some "for the defense of the state". Two of the State Constitutions, I don't remember which ones, specifically prohibit the carrying of guns during an election, in the room where people cast their ballots -- which implies that they would have otherwise had the right to do so.
The Swiss Militia was always about collective self defense, and it is illegal to even open your box of ammunition for any purpose other than defending Switzerland.
By contrast, I see no persuasive evidence from the legislative history of the Second Amendment that it excludes individual self defense, and some evidence that it includes it.
oralloy wrote:The first clause is a requirement that the government keep up the militia for the defense of the country. The second clause protects the right to keep arms at home and bear them in the militia.
So you'd agree that an individual's right to bear arms is tied to the state's interest in maintaining a militia, right?
Please do tell us your opinion on whether the right to bear arms requires a State interest in the militia!
That is how the law works in practice, cjhsa, but I feel fairly certain that the Founding Fathers would have been appalled to learn that their wording, meant to enable an organized citizen militia to fight off an invading enemy, is now being used to justify Saturday night specials and AK47s in the hands of potential criminals.
This is madness.
It nicely sums up the way state legislatures thought about this right, and how their thinking changed between 1776 and today. And since the federal government is a creation of the states, not the other way round, I think this is at least as relevant to interpreting the Second Amendment as Supreme Court interpretations are.
joefromchicago wrote:So you'd agree that an individual's right to bear arms is tied to the state's interest in maintaining a militia, right?
But I'd agree that an individual's right to bear arms is tied to the militia itself.
The most relevant text to the interpretation of the Second Amendment is the text of the Second Amendment itself. All other texts -- provincial and state constitutions, the English Bill of Rights, Blackstone's Commentaries, etc. -- are secondary. They can be instructive, but the Second Amendment's text is definitive.
That makes sense as long as (1) everybody agrees on what it means, based on the text alone and (2) the Supreme Court can be relied on to adhere to the definite language of constitutional provisions. (1) is evidently not the case, and (2) has ceased to be fulfilled either since (a) the Gilded Age, when Steven Field made it Supreme Court policy to shoehorn laissez-faire politics into the text of the constitution, or (b) since the New Deal. The choice between (a) and (b) would depend on your politics.
I might add that in other threads, you have yourself labelled Scalia, Bork, and other lobbyists for a strict interpretation of the constitution as 'reactionary', and I think 'extremist'.
If I understood you correctly, you generally approve of the way the Supreme Court has stretched the constitution to push the agenda of Roosevelt's New Deal and Johnson's Great Society.
That makes it hard for me to buy your sudden conversion towards "the Second Amendment's text is definitive." (Emphasis yours.) Frankly, I doubt that you buy it yourself. But if you have an explanation for this discrepancy, I'd be very interested to hear it.
I believe that the supreme court has rarely departed from the text of the constitution. Its interpretations of the text may have been erroneous, but the justices usually start with the text itself.
Although I don't agree with everything the court did during those eras, I don't believe the New Deal or Great Society courts impermissibly "stretched" the constitution.
Interpretation of the constitution is necessary, but the interpretation must start with the text.
Placing other documents, such as contemporaneous state constitutions, on the same level as the constitutional text is simply not justifiable. Your assertion that such secondary sources are "at least as relevant" to interpreting the Second Amendment as supreme court interpretations of the constitutional text is, therefore, erroneous.
I feel that the drafters of the Second Amendment should have been more explicit in specifying that the right to keep and bear arms depended upon the requirement to maintain a militia. .
The problem with the Second Amendment is the cultural environment it was drafted in.
right institutions to appeal to are legislatures and ballots, not the court
The problem here is taht if left to that nothing will happen.
Eva wrote:And at the last area safety meeting conducted for my merchant area, the police emphatically told the shopkeepers and restaurant employees NOT to keep guns, because they are "11 times more likely to get hurt with their own gun than (you) are to use it against someone in defense."
Did the police say where they had got this statistic from? Did they say something about how the shopkeepers owning or not owning a gun affects their likeliness of being attacked? Not really disagreeing with you on the wisdom of gun control; just curious, and somewhat suspicious of the police as a reliable source of information.
Eeek. Gun control means knowing how to control your weapon. Sorry your folks ain't capable...
Strongly suggest you disarm them Eva, even I don't want them around....