The NRA's 2nd Amendment Rights vs The Patriot Act
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You Have To Be An Absolute Idiot To Think That The 2nd Amendment Is Still Applicable
(1). The NRA has become a lobbying tool of the gun manufacturers. Unlike other lobbying groups, however, it also has overwhelming support from naive gun owners. What we need is another gun lobby that would represent the interests of responsible gun owners, not the manufacturers. Then maybe we could have a reasonable debate on this.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG), Michael Bloomberg’s well-funded gun control super PAC.
(2). Here's one way to defeat the NRA: Ask people who are upset about this recent shooting to go online and sign up for automatic, monthly deductions to a fund (Or CrowdFunding) devoted to breaking the grip of the NRA.
For every dollar the NRA spends in helping a political candidate, this new fund would spend $2 to help the opponent (whether in a primary race or general election). Many politicians are currently afraid that opposing the NRA would lead the organization to stop providing their campaigns with either cash contributions or in-kind support (such as advertisements and other forms of advocacy). Creating a fund that guaranteed a two-to-one match of NRA support -- but for the other side, ideally who supports stronger gun control -- would weaken the NRA's political clout.
And how much should gun control proponents ask people to pledge? According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the NRA spent about $20 million on political activities in the 2012 election cycle; including a little more than $1 million on direct campaign contributions and around $8.5 million on independent campaigns in support of congressional candidates.
This might sound like a lot of money, but it is equal to only about 2% of what Obama raised in 2012 and less than one-tenth of one percent of the net worth of the NRA's most vocal critic: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Suppose Bloomberg agreed to give one-tenth of one percent of his net worth each year, and gun control groups asked people to pledge the same percentage of their net worth. The cost to most people to match would be not more than $10 or $20 per month. While people could opt out any time, most people would never even notice this small automatic deduction. This strategy will work because it changes the default behavior of busy people from political passivity to activism.
A few election cycles might be needed for the NRA and politicians to see the consequences of such a pledge. But when it happens -- when the NRA's grip is weakened significantly -- then perhaps America will see true policy changes on gun control through the active support of its public.
(3). Federal Investigation of The NRA
(4). Patriot Act: Remind NRA members that: If they think the 2nd amendment is the ONLY amendment that protects all the rest of the amendments.
Remember when the previous White House Administration infringed on our rights when they signed the Patriot Act and made it Law. Do you know which amendments that act infringed upon? Or how many amendments they stripped our rights from?
Do you know what rights you no longer have do to that act? Let me remind you of what G Bush said about the constitution... "..the constitution is just a goddamn piece of paper".... google it, google is your friend. So what if you have guns! YOU HAVE NO RIGHTS!
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The Second Amendment (or at least one version of it) reads as follows:
"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed".Monty: Huh? What's "A well regulated militia"? And I hardly think that any civilian militia like we had in the 1800's or even now for that matter is hardly in a position to defend the United States from foreign or domestic military invasion.
Now that the United States is protected by a trained, volunteer military force rather than a civilian militia, is the Second Amendment still valid?
Does the Second Amendment exclusively provide for arms to supply a civilian militia, or does it guarantee a separate universal right to bear arms?
Current StatusUntil DC v. Heller (2008), the U.S. Supreme Court had never struck down a gun control law on Second Amendment grounds.
The two cases generally cited as most relevant to the Second Amendment are:
U.S. v. Cruikshank (1875), in which the U.S. Supreme Court struck down an 1870 federal law punishing individuals for violating the civil rights of others, using the Fourteenth Amendment to justify federal intervention in law enforcement (which was generally left to the states).
Monty: Considering the times, (back then) why am I not surprised the Supreme Court struck down a law that protected U.S. citizens.
The test case was the 1873 Colfax Massacre,
in which over 100 African Americans were murdered by the White League, a militant white supremacist organization that was extremely active in Louisiana in the decades following the American Civil War.
- Monty: Maybe this says the most about militias and why they belong in the dark ages. Chief Justice Morrison Waite delivered a ruling stating that the law was unconstitutional. While the case had no direct relevance to the Second Amendment, Waite did briefly list an individual right to bear arms among those rights that would have been protected by the federal law.
- Monty: I am really not a big fan of ambiguity and "briefly" seems to indicate that this is the beginning of where the law is subject to how you or anyone wishes to interpret it.
U.S. v. Miller (1939), in which two bank robbers transported a sawed-off shotgun across state lines in violation of the National Firearms Act of 1934. After the bank robbers challenged the law on Second Amendment grounds, Justice James C. McReynolds delivered a majority ruling stating that the Second Amendment was not relevant to their case, in part because a sawed-off shotgun is not a standard weapon for use in U.S. civilian militias.
- Monty: Again, we have a very ambiguous interpretation of what or how to enforce the Second Amendment that is applied in a very piecemeal fashion. It seems that this ruling again applied to an entity that for all intent and purpose is not officially recognized as either an alternate for law enforcement or military engagement.
HistoryThe well-regulated militia referred to in the Second Amendment was, in fact, the 18th-century equivalent to the U.S. Armed Forces. Other than a small force of paid officers (primarily responsible for supervising civilian conscripts), the United States that existed at the time the Second Amendment was proposed had no professional, trained army. Instead it relied almost exclusively on civilian militias for self-defense--in other words, the rounding up of all available men between the ages of 18 and 50. In the event of foreign invasion, there would be no trained military force to hold back the British or the French. The United States relied on the power of its own citizens to defend the country against attack, and had committed to such an isolationist foreign policy that the chances of ever deploying forces overseas seemed remote at best.
This began to change with the presidency of John Adams, who established a professional navy to protect U.S.-bound trade vessels from privateers. Today, there is no military draft at all. The U.S. Army is made up of a mix of full-time and part-time professional soldiers who are trained well, and compensated for their service. Furthermore, the U.S. Armed Forces have not fought a single battle on home soil since the end of the American Civil War in 1865. Clearly, a well-regulated civilian militia is no longer a military necessity. Does the second clause of the Second Amendment still apply even if the first clause, providing its rationale, is no longer meaningful?
- Monty: Not unless you're an idiot or just plain illiterate.
ProsAccording to a 2003 Gallup/NCC poll, most Americans believe that the Second Amendment protects individual firearm ownership.
* Points In Their Favor:
A clear majority of the Founding Fathers unquestionably believed in a universal right to bear arms.
Monty: By that I think they meant muskets and such.
- Monty: Otherwise known as the "dark ages".
- Monty: No quite sure of the relevance.
- Monty: Sounds like amendments were made to be amended.
- Monty: It seems high-time we actually take a second look at the primitive nature of the Second Amendment and bring it rightfully into the 21st century. If it's obsolete, why hasn't this happened?
The Constitution aside, bearing arms is a fundamental human right. It is the only means the American people have to reclaim control of their government, should it one day become irredeemably corrupt.
- Monty: Again, only an idiot or moron would try to pit the power of the largest military might on the planet against a (for the most part untrained) civilian militia.
ConsThe same Gallup/NCC poll cited above also found that 28% of respondents believe that the Second Amendment was created to protect civilian militias, and does not guarantee the right to bear arms.
* Points In Their Favor:
While the Founding Fathers may have supported the ownership of slow, expensive powder-loaded rifles, it's doubtful that they would have been able to conceive of shotguns, assault rifles, handguns, and other contemporary weaponry.
- Monty: What retard actually thinks this was part of the Founding Fathers initial reasoning. There is absolutely no allowance for "arms" that could be more advanced than the ones that were currently being used. This might explain why the current military has the civilian militias out-gunned at the very start.
- Monty: If the document can't be "interpreted" in it's entirety than it's not worth interpreting at all.
- Monty: Again, why are we explaining common sense to the idiots?
- Monty: A majority of American's also believed the real estate housing market bubble in the "80"s and the "tech. bubble" in the "90" wouldn't eventually burst. How did that "belief" work out for ya?
It somewhat stands in the way of some people's ideas that the US could be made safe by an effort to take away guns from everyone except police and the military. That's probably the main con.
On The Pro Side, it is designed to prevent tyranny. Its role in preventing or increasing crime is so hotly debated that most people lose sight of the fact that ordinary crime had nothing to do with the reason it was passed. There are even people now who think the Second Amendment was related to hunting. For what it's worth, it has played a role in helping potential victims of crime arm themselves to deter or defend against criminals and, of course, hunters, marksmen, gun collectors and gun manufacturers tend to like it as well.
There is substantial evidence that when Florida and other states passed laws making it much easier for people with no criminal record to legally carry concealed weapons and then issued over 100,000 concealed carry permits, that many categories of violent crime dropped. Though this was a boost for the anti-crime arguments in favor of the Second Amendment, the fact remains that crime was not reason the Second Amendment was passed.
One reason for wanting to use the militia system was that calling a large portion of the population into military service to repel an invasion would allow the rapid formation of a huge military force when it was needed. But this was not the reason that it was put into the constitution as the 2nd Amendment. It was put into the constitution to prevent the replacement of the militia system by a "standing army" which could be more easily used to suppress political dissent and defend tyrants against insurrection by the people.
Monty: So how's that working out for ya?
The current constitution was not the one implemented at the time of the American Revolution. That was the Articles of Confederation, which were being drawn up in June of 1776, shortly before the Declaration of Independence was passed by the Second Continental Congress. The Articles of Confederation weren't fully ratified until 1781, two years before the Treaty of Paris ended the War of the American Revolution.
The US Constitution that is nominally in effect today was proposed in 1787 and adopted by twelve states by 1789 and by Rhode Island in 1790. By that time, the American Revolution had been over for seven years. A number of states feared that the new constitution would give the central government too much power. This fear was increased by the fact that leaders of the Federalist Party had such a strong role in drafting it and they were well known for favoring more power for the central government. Their opponents, sometimes called "Anti-Federalists", "Republicans", "Democrats" or "Democratic Republicans" (Their party later became the Democratic Party) were known in those days for opposing greater power in the hands of the central government.
Partly due to fears that the new US Constitution would not be ratified by the states, ten amendments were introduced by James Madison in 1789. These ten amendments are known as the Bill of Rights and the Second Amendment was number two on the list. All ten of these amendments were clearly designed to limit the power of the federal government. Today, some people would like to believe that the second amendment was somehow different and was designed to give the federal government the power to have an army. The US Constitution itself already authorized the federal government to have a military, in Article 1 and Article 2, but clearly envisioned a militia-type system such as the US had used in the War of the American Revolution and still had at the time the US Constitution was drafted and ratified.
The main purpose of the 2nd Amendment was to prevent the militia from being replaced by a "standing army", meaning a professional army that might have more loyalty to the government than to the people and could be used to oppress the people as the previous (British) government's army had done before and during the War of the American Revolution.
There are plenty of historical examples of countries that remained relatively free so long as they were defended by such a militia and plenty of examples of tyrannies where the power of the tyrants depended upon a specialized armed force loyal to the tyrant. Even Niccolo Machiavelli, the 16th century political writer notorious for writing about the harsh realities of politics wrote that a militia, such as had defended the Florentine Republic, was the best defense against tyranny. The theory is that the people aren't going to oppress themselves, so an army made up of basically the whole population capable of bearing arms is a lot less likely to support a tyranny than a smaller force of professional soldiers who make their career in the army and are financially dependent upon the government.
The US now has a large standing army and has abandoned the old militia type system. This occurred mostly during the 20th century. I suppose another con of the Second Amendment is that it failed to prevent this as it was intended.
The individual rights interpretation reflects the view of the majority of Americans, and more clearly reflects the philosophical underpinnings provided by the Founding Fathers, but the civilian militia interpretation reflects the views of the Supreme Court and seems to be a more precise reading of the text of the Second Amendment.
The "Second Amendment" was based partially on the right to bear arms in English common-law, and was influenced by the English Bill of Rights of 1689.
Monty: Maybe, this is where we went wrong. The Founding Fathers seemed to have gotten a little lazy and they "adopted" a document that was created by the very same people we were trying to distance ourselves from at the time. Some of the problems the English were addressing in this document were very specific to how England was ran at that time. It was probably just fine for what the English were trying to address. However, America didn't actually have a "king" or "Crown" to be concerned about.
Like I said before... maybe it's high-time we all take a second look at this particular document and unfortunately if that means that we completely scuttle it (throw it into the garbage) and create a new one then so be it.
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