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Raintree21

Right to bear arms?

Which way should the Supreme Court vote?   30 members have voted

  1. 1. Does the 2nd Ammendment of the Constitution guarantee an American citizen the right to bear/have private arms?

    • Yes
      23
    • No
      7

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57 posts in this topic

The Supreme Court is currently hearing arguments centered around Washington, D.C.'s 32 year old ban on handguns. Washington has one of the strictest anti-gun laws in the nation and it is currently being challenged under the argument that it violates the Second Ammendment of the Constitution.

The 2nd Ammendment reads:

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.

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While the militia part may be a bit dated, I still see no harm in having a gun to protect yourself or for purposes of recreation.

Banning guns only disarm the innocent. There are millions who own guns and aren't rampaging the streets killing people. There will still be guns in this country no matter what, because bad people will get their hands on them by any means necessary.

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Packing heat to go to the mall has nothing to do with a well regulated militia.

How owning a Saturday Night Special, or a submachine gun got protected by the 2nd Amendment I'll never know. Look at countries where guns aren't so free, and you'll find a much lower murder rate.

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I am pretty sure the SC, which has been top loaded by conservatives, will say it's OK to carry guns everywhere.

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yes for the individual, but with some restrictions. No semi-automatic or automatic guns. Sport Rifles and small handguns. Why not?

People who have guns illegally will get them anyway..

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Florida has granted it's citizens the right to carry a gun in their pocket/purse for years (under certain guidelines). Isn't this what the Wild West era was like?.......everyone armed at all times, and ready to use it. Is this what we want to return to?

Pretty soon, carrying a gun will be no different than carrying a cellphone. Imagine a country of 300 million people, almost everyone armed. As each state relaxes private gun ownership further and further, this can be a likely outcome.

The Europeans supressed guns a long time ago, and at a glance it's obvious their crime and murder rates are drastically lower than that of the States.

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I haven't been out shooting in years, but I used to really enjoy plinking cans with small caliber hand guns. It is a great way to relieve stress. I grew up in a rural area where guns were pretty much the norm for both protection and recreational use. I believe the individual right to bear arms IS gauranteed.

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I believe the 2nd Amendment gives the right to bear arms but must be considered in context of the era. They never knew one day access to semi-automatic handguns, armor piercing bullets, automatic rifles, etc, would one day be lumped in with the right of a citizen to arm themself for protection. I have no issue with someone arming themself to protect home or property, but to allow access to so much more is extreme.

Look what cultures allow people to have whatever they want and decide if this is the right company to keep. Lets all pile in the back of a Toyota Pickup and roll around town with our rifles like the Taliban, Iraquis, etc. YAY.

I just don't think you should be able to have extreme weapons, but the NRA wants access to everthing.

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The Supreme Court is currently hearing arguments centered around Washington, D.C.'s 32 year old ban on handguns. Washington has one of the strictest anti-gun laws in the nation and it is currently being challenged under the argument that it violates the Second Ammendment of the Constitution.

The 2nd Ammendment reads:

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.

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This has nothing to do with whether people have the right to carry high powered weapons, it's about the individuals right to protect themselves from harm.

That sentence in the 2nd Amendment is two parts. "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state" is the first part; "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." is the second part. A well regulated militia is for the protection of the state from an overbearing federal government. The right of the people to keep and bear arms is for the protection of the individual to protect themselves from other individuals. Why the meaning of this sentence has ever been in doubt is beyond me. It is clear and unequivocal.

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If you know how to read legalese, it is perfectly clear that the two parts of the sentence aren't two seperate points, but two clauses of the same point. "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state" is the "whereas" part of the statement, and "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." is the "therefore."

You have to look at such laws in the context of the time in which they were written. In the aftermath of the revolutionary war, the "militia" was the only military force the US had. It was made up of individual citizens with private firearms, who could be called on to defend the country. The militia was not intended to protect anyone from the state, as it was itself the state's primary means of defense. The militia would cease to exist if private firearms were banned, so the second amendment was instated to protect that.

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Florida has granted it's citizens the right to carry a gun in their pocket/purse for years (under certain guidelines). Isn't this what the Wild West era was like?.......everyone armed at all times, and ready to use it. Is this what we want to return to?

Pretty soon, carrying a gun will be no different than carrying a cellphone. Imagine a country of 300 million people, almost everyone armed. As each state relaxes private gun ownership further and further, this can be a likely outcome.

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I voted yes, but there have to be regulations. I mean come on, aren't mustard gas and thermo-nuclear warheads 'arms'? One could go to an extreme and say that the constitution guarantees our individual right to possess them. Even large caliber automatic assault weapons have the potential to kill many people very fast, and would not have been forseen by the founding fathers.

And more thorough background checks are reasonable. Ie, database showing if someone has ever been committed to a mental institution etc. For a muzzle loader, its really not necessary, but for semi automatic handguns, do we really want a psychopathic individual to be able to walts out of a gun shop and go on a shooting rampage taking 32 lives and then his own?

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I voted yes, but there have to be regulations. I mean come on, aren't mustard gas and thermo-nuclear warheads 'arms'? One could go to an extreme and say that the constitution guarantees our individual right to possess them. Even large caliber automatic assault weapons have the potential to kill many people very fast, and would not have been forseen by the founding fathers.

And more thorough background checks are reasonable. Ie, database showing if someone has ever been committed to a mental institution etc. For a muzzle loader, its really not necessary, but for semi automatic handguns, do we really want a psychopathic individual to be able to walts out of a gun shop and go on a shooting rampage taking 32 lives and then his own?

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I can't speak for every state, but most states seem to have laws against people that have a history of mental illness from possessing weapons. The problem is that the system is broken and they are not caught at the time of purchase and there are ways to get around the laws.

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I think the restriction should be mainly against semiautomatic and automatic weapons.

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Fully automatic weapons are already banned from private ownership without a very expensive, annually renewed permit.

I don't understand why semiautomatics should be regulated more than double action revolvers? Is it the magazine capacity that is raising concerns?

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Fully automatic weapons are already banned from private ownership without a very expensive, annually renewed permit.

I don't understand why semiautomatics should be regulated more than double action revolvers? Is it the magazine capacity that is raising concerns?

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I believe the 2nd Amendment certianly guarantees the right of law abiding citizens to possess firearms. In many high crime areas of the nation the right to have a gun in one's home and/or the right to carry an concealed firearm seems to be logical deterrent to crime. Rest assured that criminals looking for easy marks start to think twice about committing crime when any house or individual they may choose to prey upon might have equal means of lethal self-protection as any criminal would typically bring to bear. However, with firearms does come the responsiblity of their proper use at all times, and serious consquences for accidents and/or improper usage.

In this particular case I think that the law abiding citizens of the District of Columbia should be able to avail themselves of the best means of self-protection in their homes - which in such a scenario would be a hand gun.

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I'm still trying to figure out how the word "militia" came to be defined as "lunatics with handguns stuck between their couch cushions only one pink slip away from turning a local schoolhouse into the end of a Tarantino flick".

The day we start seeing membership in a "well regulated militia" as the standard for firearms ownership, is the day that I agree that private citizens should have the right to carry deadly weapons in public.

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^Exactly. Many people who want to cite the 2nd amendment as allowing unrestricted gun ownership will either ignore the first part of the amendment altogether, or pretend that the word "militia" has always had its present meaning. As I posted before, any law, including this one, needs to be considered in the historic context in which it was written.

If the Founding Fathers had been writing in the context of a nation with an established, technologically advanced, professional military force, as well as publicly available handguns that are much more powerful and easier to conceal than anything imagined in the 18th century, I can guarantee that the 2nd Amendment would have been worded very differently. it is long, long overdue for a major revision if it is to maintain its original intent. This will never happen, as I'm afraid the original intent (which, again, is quite explicit in the legalese of the bill) doesn't sit well with the conservatives who call the shots in this country.

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First of all I wish everyone would realize that the Founding Fathers of our country weren't deities---they made plenty of mistakes in the creation of our constitution. The mistakes have been cleared up over the years by way of amendments to the Constitution. One good example is the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote.

As written, the 2nd Amendment is not entirely clear about private gun ownership. So what about getting a new amendment to the Constitution which specifically spells out what rights to weapons that Americans have?

The amendment process would go state to state, and would take several years. Through elected representatives, the people could decide this question through 2008 eyes, and not 1790 eyes. Many people in the country justify gun ownership by the 2nd Amendment. I see no coorelation with owning a gun and the 2nd Amendment.

Let's decide this issue today, and not look back centuries to the opinions of leaders in the late 1700s.

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If they tried to amend the 2nd amendment today, it would lose by a landslide. Republicans and conservatives aren't the only ones who want to keep their right to bear arms. This doesn't mean they want to own rocket launchers or one day want to go on a killing spree as some here have implied.

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I don't want to entirely eliminate the right to weapons, but the amendment is clearly being enforced out of context today. It is very plain from the language of the amendment that gun ownership was supposed to be tied to militia membership, as a means of providing a check against government tyranny -- in 1776, a private milita was capable of repelling the British Army if properly trained and organized. In 2008, we don't even have militias in the proper sense, let alone well-regulated ones. So the 2nd has been taken as a right to possess private firearms for such dubious purposes as "protection" from random acts of violence also committed by weapon-toting villains.

This interpretation of the amendment is so out of joint with its intention, that I struggle to understand why there is so much resistance to reform. The point of the 2nd wasn't to make society a marketplace for arms dealers, it was to protect the people from military oppression. If it is not being used to that end today, there is an obvious need for the rules to be brought into line with a modern civilized society.

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