If it’s the best thing I’ve read all day, why after all should I be prevented from posting it here just because I happen to be the one who wrote it?
Seen in comments at Uncle;
“Machineguns are in common use by military, and AS SUCH they are protected by the second amendment. Actually, if it is or can be considered an “arm” it is protected by the second amendment (the second amendment doesn’t have any qualifiers, exceptions or modifiers in it).
One might be able to make the case that strategic weapons like nukes and other WMDs are not, but even then you may be running afoul of the balance-of-power concept embodied in the second amendment.
In the American Revolution there were private owned war ships, were there not? Those would be analogs of our modern aircraft carriers and destroyers.
And don’t give me court precedent bullshit. If precedent defines (redefines) our rights, it means that any and all rights degrade and evaporate over time. No thanks. I’ll stick to original principles.”
There is a common error committed by our side. It is the use of arguments along the lines of, “Machineguns are ALREADY banned [and so leave our semiautomatics alone].” That’s a bit like saying to the alligator, “You already ate my buddy (and I didn’t like him a lot anyway) and so you should therefore leave me alone (I guess because your appetite should already be satisfied, or something…)”
In fact, if they can ban the most common small arms used by military and police, and get away with it, they can certainly ban everything else, just as the alligator can eat you some time after it ate your buddy. The fact of the matter has been established, so at best you’re only arguing over the details of the infringements at that point.
The Hughes Amendment to FOPA of 1986 should be rendered null and void, followed by GCA ’68 and NFA ’34.
I have taken to asking this question.
If the Second Amendment doesn’t protect arms particularly suitable for militia use, then what does it protect?
For any doubters: Article 1 Section 8 contains the reference to “letters of marque and reprisal”, so yes, the US Constitution was written with privately owned warships in mind.
Any one who thinks Heller’s “in common use” will trump its “dangerous and unusual” phrase should recall how well and often Miller’s “ordinary military equipment” is cited by courts and legislators – essentially never.
Getting rid of the Hughes Amendment, GCA ’68, and NFA ’34 would be my idea of common sense gun law. Non of the three branches is likely to do that for us though. As much as we thought we had made progress before the last couple of months, our rights as citizens and as free humans have been imperiled and infringed for a long time.
@fast richard – our rights always have been and always will be imperiled. That doesn’t mean we give in to gloom. Freedom has always been the exception in history, and requires constant effort to maintain. But we can do it! Get your rifle up, your shoulders back, your smile on, and march!
Anon at January 23, 2013 at 6:13 am :
Just because two items are each mentioned in the Constitution, does not mean they are both controlled by the same section. Yes, Congress was authorized to issue letters of marque and reprisal to civilians — that is part of the accepted 18th Century war powers of ANY state. (It is now a violation of the internationally accepted laws of war, however.)
Congress is also authorized to issue copyrights. Doesn;t mean they are protected directly by the Second Amendment.
“Arms” in a legal and military sense, DID NOT refer to “any old weapon or weapon system”. It referred to weapons and equipment, suitable for INDIVIDUAL use in a military sense. An armed ship (or even a single cannon) is not a weapon suitable for individual use.
However, there is a flip side — just because something is not specifically protected by a particular enumerated right, doesn’t mean it isn’t protected by other rights (numerated or an unenumerated penumbra). So, there may well be a protection of the individual right to own cannon (one existing even when Congress doesn’t actually authorizes it directly under their war powers) — just not in the Second Amendment directly.
“An armed ship (or even a single cannon) is not a weapon suitable for individual use.”
Citation needed, especially for the bit about the cannon. If I’m the individual, and it suits me, then it is “suitable”.
The 2A was said by those who wrote it and ratified it that its purpose was to hold the government, and any army it could muster, “in awe” of the People. It would seem that our interpretation for modern times then would require the right to posses not only cannon, but far more capable weapons. The very concept of power residing with the people, and being merely lent in small bits to government, would prohibit restrictions of nearly all kinds. They work for us– they haven’t the right to tell us what we may or may not own and carry in defense of liberty, any more than your houskeeper may order you about or tell you how to run your affairs under threats of violence.
The “It’s an old document and they could not have predicted the technology of today” argument actually runs in favor of bigger and more effective weapon systems for today’s individual, for how else to keep government in awe? Hmm?
If liberty is worth defending at all, then surely it is worth defending very, very effectively and efficiently, with all the related and necessary hardware and freedoms implied. If liberty is not worth defending, then for what purpose do we have the second amendment?