You are right, it is often debated. Policy in interpetation is set by the head of the US Justice Dept. which is replaced with each presidency. Thereby it tends to be interpeted differently. If there hadn't been a dissagreements as to the meaning it wouldn't have had to be clarified.Quote:
Originally Posted by LenMiyata
The result being that according to the 2nd amendment individuals have the right to bear arms (excepting criminals and those concidered mentally incompetant) and under the commerce clause the states have the right to regulate the commerce or sales of guns. The 2nd amendment says thatThose who claim it is not an individual right quote the first half of the article and ignore the second half all together. A mistake considering that the first half of the statment is a subordinate clause to the second and is defining the reason for it. The phrase "the right of the people" is significant because it is used in The Bill of Rights (as well as the preamble to the Constitution) to specifically outline rights retained to individuals and not the government. This was actually noted by the Supreme Court in 1990 (in UNITED STATES v. VERDUGO-URQUIDEZ). The most significant point however is the fact that the 2nd Amendment is a part of The Bill of Rights, a document outlining the right's of individual citisens, and again, not the government.Quote:
"[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."
The fascinating part of all this is that the tradition of a citisens right to bear arms comes from our historical background with England. England not only traditionally had this right, at times it required it. Removing a right to bear arms was considered tyrany and the restoration of those rights to Prodestants who had been oppressed by Charles II and later James II was accomplished by the English Parliment in 1689 in a Bill of Rights that codified not only the right of individuals to bear arms but for Prodestants to specifically do so "suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law". This Bill of Right's was not only practised by the colonists in America they were in fact encouraged to practice it by the British military.In fact it wasn't until that same military began confiscating their arms and banned the import of any weapons to the America's that the Minutemen were formed.Quote:
Originally Posted by Boston Evening Post April 3, 1769
For a historical veiw on the subject:
Originally Posted by Noah Webster 1787
Originally Posted by "M.T. Cicero" 1788
Originally Posted by George Mason 1863
Originally Posted by James Madison, "The Federalist No. 46" JANUARY 29, 1788
And finally the origonal draft of the second amendment written by James Madison which was origonally intended to be placed in the Consitution in "Article 1st, Section 9, between Clauses 3 and 4." (Along with freedom of speech, the press, and religion.)Quote:
Originally Posted by James Madison
I think it can be safely said that the interpetation of the second amendment as an individual right is not a new one.Quote:
The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed, and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms, shall be compelled to render military service in person.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. TIMOTHY JOE EMERSON(warning: heavy, laborous, and well documented writting)
It is also significant that in the only recent case to come before the Surpreme Court concerning the right to bear arms vs interstate commerce (United States v. Miller, 1939) the Supreme Court unanimously came down on the side of individual ownership.
All that said my question was what do you think of:
"There are two thought's on that. One that the "militia", a citizens military, is an important defense of the country. At any time, if an officer of the law feels it to be necessary, they may call upon and "deputise" citizens to support them. That would include invasion. The second thought is that the men who created the US government did not trust governments. An armed citisenry could be considered a deterent from tyrany. A concept that is easy to believe since historically one of the first things that happens when a government is being corupted and overcome from within is that those taking power remove the right of common citisens to own or use weapons. (Hitler did it in Germany and it was a tactic used for centeries in many parts of Asia and the Orient, for just a few examples.)"