Brad Wardell's site for talking about the customization of Windows.

My old friend Steven Den Beste wrote this awhile back:

Let's talk about the Third Amendment for a moment. Remember that one? Probably not; in this day and age it's something of a Constitutional joke. "No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law."

Remember now? The Bill of Rights which passed Congress had twelve clauses, and ten of them were almost immediately ratified by the states. Amendment Three was one of those. Why did they bother?

It's because memory of the Revolution was still current. It was only a few years after the Revolution succeeded, remember, and memory of British tyranny was still fresh. The British had done this, and the citizens of the nascent United States wanted to make sure their new government didn't.

The reason the colonies revolted was because the King of England was viewed as having become a tyrant. Having fought a bloody war to become free of his tyranny, the founders wanted to make sure the new government they created did not in turn become tyranny. Trading one tyrant for another wasn't what they had in mind. So the Constitution contains layers of mechanisms to try to prevent tyranny. And the last and best of these is the Second Amendment.

Remember how the shooting revolution began? The Battles of Lexington and Concord. Rebels in the Boston area had been stockpiling weapons, powder, and ammunition near Concord MA, and the British got wind of it and sent an armed column out from Boston to seize the stockpile. Superb espionage by rebel forces detected this, and word spread through the countryside for the militia (remember that word; it's important) which formed up and fought against the British force. The main battle was fought at Lexington MA, which repelled the British and caused them to retreat again back to Boston.

The "militia" was all able bodied men in the area, who were to show up with their own rifles (or muskets). Weapons of that era varied quite a lot, and of course they were muzzle-loaded using black powder. It took a lot of training to use such a weapon effectively (especially rifles, which were much more difficult to load than muskets) and that's why it was desireable that the men have their own weapons. It was assumed they already knew how to use them.

The earliest battles of the revolution were fought by such militia formations. Another was the Battle of Bunker Hill. It was only later that the Revolutionary Army was formed, and began training at Valley Forge.

Having just won their revolution, in which privately owned firearms played such a critical role, and mindful of the potential for their new government to potentially become tyrannical, the purpose of the Second Amendment was to make sure that the people of the United States would have the means to rise in revolt once again, should it become necessary.

That's what it's really about. It's not about hunting weapons; it's not about the "National Guard" (which isn't a militia). It's about everyday law-abiding citizens having the ability to resist a tyrannical government. And with that deterrent in place, we've managed 230 years without our government descending into tyranny (though it's come close).

 

 One of the most common problems when discussing the US constitution is that people will apply modern definitions to 18th century words.  For example, the word "regulated" today implies government run.  Such a concept would have been absurd in the 18th century. Well regulated meant effective.  Similarly, the word "welfare", as in, "promote the general welfare", was not about giving money to the impoverished but supporting the general stability of the states (not to mention it's in the preamble and has no legal meaning anyway). And of course, Militia today is often considered thought of as being government related whereas it traditionally meant "a group of armed men".
 
update: snipped out the overtly political paragraphs.

Comments (Page 1)
on Nov 03, 2013


Not really a hot-button issue for me, but sounds a bit too much Us v Them mentality. Frankly I believe people kill people not guns necessarily, but don't see how we'd end up in a dictatorship with stronger background checks. Regulations are often seen as a dirty word, but I've worked dangerous jobs where I've heard the horror stories of people losing life and limb before there was OSHA, sadly all preventable. On the other hand, it's hard to have common sense regulations in any sector when you have the foxes guarding the henhouse...

on Nov 03, 2013

I thought this forum wasn't supposed to be political....

Labeling people with abroad brush is rarely conducive to a productive discussion...

So may I suggest you take a deep breath, arm youself to the teeth and hide in your solar powered bunker and wait for the government to take your guns awayso you can go down in a blaze of glory.

 

 

on Nov 03, 2013

I thought this forum wasn't supposed to be political....

Indeed, but I guess if Frogboy brought it up we have a free pass. 

Well regulated meant effective

Today a well regulated militia would need antitank and aircraft missiles if it is to be effective, yet those are mostly illegal and I think most agree that is a good thing. The whole civilian population of the U.S. could have AR-15s, yet if the government has the support of the military it wouldn't matter in the end. Our only defense against any sort of unconstitutional takeover is our military personnel refusing to do anything clearly illegal, not any weapons you'd be able to arm yourself with. All those weapons do is make it easier to kill your fellow citizens with.

 One of the most common problems when discussing the US constitution is that people will apply modern definitions to 18th century words.

Well back then "Freedom for All" in the declaration of independence actually just meant adult white males. I think most would agree it is a good thing we slowly updated it to its modern definition. America today is not the same place it was in 1776 or 1789, and insisting on strictly following the "original intent" of the constitution is a recipe for poor government over 200 years later.

on Nov 03, 2013

Progressives? That guy is talking like a fool. He is saying things to get people crazy. Crazy talk to get people crazy. This is the problem.

Progressives want a dictatorship. Progressives want to take over. I think he is talking about people who lean towards the liberal. He means Democrats. Well I've been around the block a few times. The Democrats that are around now would be moderate Republicans years ago. There aren't any real progressives or liberals around anymore that have any power. It's just like The War on Terror. Let's create an enemy so these guys go ahead and come up with all sorts of bullshit.

The best thing a person can do is take it all in and regardless of labels make an educated choice. Do not believe anything until you find out for yourself. Do not listen to fear mongers or people who sling around crazy talk. I know people who think that socialist, communist and fascist are the same thing.

Let's face it the norm anymore is stupid.

on Nov 03, 2013

First 2/3rds of the text was brilliant, the last third nutter garbage. It all comes down to this (if I read the text right): people who argue against gun rights ("progressives") want to create a tyranny. I mean... straw man much?

I wouldn't want the same gun rights in my country, but I don't see the US ever getting rid of theirs. Precisely because the deterrent is needed, even if it is not effective (in this modern age of governmental spying on citizens the FBI would shut down any armed rebellion before it got its boots on*). And with guns so easy to get for criminals, the only reasonable self-defence is to carry your own. That's not a problem that can be solved, because you can't take the guns away from the criminals.

*I mean, it was essentially founded to hunt down "anarchists".

on Nov 03, 2013

GoaFan77


Well back then "Freedom for All" in the declaration of independence actually just meant adult white males. I think most would agree it is a good thing we slowly updated it to its modern definition. America today is not the same place it was in 1776 or 1789, and insisting on strictly following the "original intent" of the constitution is a recipe for poor government over 200 years later.

We did update it - with constitutional amendments. We didn't just decide the words meant something different.

Re politics. Not trying to make it a liberal/conservative thing. It's unfortunate the original article dovetailed into politics.

The part that interests me is how we tend to try to change the meaning of laws through semantics.

on Nov 03, 2013

So may I suggest you take a deep breath, arm youself to the teeth and hide in your solar powered bunker and wait for the government to take your guns awayso you can go down in a blaze of glory.

 

That happens.

 

David Koresh, the freak that he was, wasn't some monster kidnapping children.  They were legal firearms dealers, apocalyptic cult or not.

 

They were just a bunch of people preparing for the apocalypse, that expected the government to attack them and trigger the end times at some point.  The ATF rolls in with tanks and black helicopters, probably starts shooting first, and kills one poor bastard outside the compound on his way home from work.

 

Did they intentionally burn them to death at the end?  Not likely, not even the ATF is that corrupt.  They still got them killed for no reason though.  If they hadn't shown up and started fucking with them, the Branch Davidians would still be their kooky selves down on Wacko Texas, some of them legally selling firearms, most working normal jobs in the town, stockpiling food in preparation for the apocalypse while their nutbar leader prophesied doom.

 

That's hardly the only instance either.  The Weaver family was the same shtick.  Paranoid of the government, expecting the end times.  Randy Weaver misses his trial date for a nonsense charge because his lawyer sends him the wrong date when they change it on him, and the Feds sneaking around on his property kill his dog in front of his 14 year old son.  After that turns into a firefight, they later murder the guy's wife when they spot him outside and start sniping him.  No shots returned.

 

If you go and hide in a bunker waiting for the fall of civilization, the feds seem to feel a need to dig you out.

on Nov 03, 2013

Frogboy
We did update it - with constitutional amendments. We didn't just decide the words meant something different.

Re politics. Not trying to make it a liberal/conservative thing. It's unfortunate the original article dovetailed into politics.

The part that interests me is how we tend to try to change the meaning of laws through semantics.

Sometimes yes. But in practice the same words also get reinterpreted by society, and usually get legitimized via arguments in the Supreme Court. The text of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments did not change between Plessy V. Furguson and Brown V. Board of Education, yet in the 1890s the court ruled separate but equal was constitutional and by the 1950s it was not. Granted some people hate this kind of thing and dub it "judicial activism", but in practice you need to have some flexibility with the meaning of your laws to change with the times, as making amendments to change every little detail would be impractical.

on Nov 03, 2013

One of the most common problems when discussing the US constitution is that people will apply modern definitions to 18th century words.

Yes, why the guns refered to in the Constitution...those muzzle-loading muskets of black powder and famous inaccuarcy are now interpreted as self-loading assault rifles/machine guns/ 50 cal sniper rifles et al.

Apparently SOME 'modern definitions' are OK ... thanks to the brainwashing of the US populace by the NRA and other vested interests.

Meanwhile....much of the rest of the world gets by quite satisfactorily WITHOUT a mis-interpreted agendafied 'Constitution' and an armed populace scared of their own government.

The saddest thing is...intelligent Americans cannot see how the rest of the world regards the absurdidty that is the 'second amendment'.

It's the most pointless argument/debate known to man.

 

But...

Re this section and 'Politics'  it is only appropriate that he-who-makes-the-laws-is-empowered-to-break-them ...

on Nov 03, 2013

 

Right.

 

It certainly couldn't be that our "agendafied Constitution", or "the absurdity that is the 2nd amendment" have contributed to the US owning the third highest standard of living on the planet, or the fact that the US gives out 2 1/2 times more foreign aid than any other nation, many of which nations would not even exist without the US.

Possibly "intelligent Americans" could care less how they are viewed by "the rest of the world", even though the majority of the countries of this old planet have favorable, even highly favorable views of the US, it's leadership, and it's citizens, or that the US has the highest number of immigrants, by far, than any other nation in the world.

 But don't let facts get in the way of perception.

 

on Nov 03, 2013

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stolen_Generations

 

If only someone had explained to the Aborigines that there wasn't any reason to fear the government that disarmed them.

 

Most of human history is the people in power stomping on the ones that aren't.  It's foolish to believe our species has evolved beyond such behavior.  Especially when you live in one of the many countries that have been doing just that in living memory.

on Nov 03, 2013

Brewskin
It certainly couldn't be that our "agendafied Constitution", or "the absurdity that is the 2nd amendment" have contributed to the US owning the third highest standard of living on the planet, or the fact that the US gives out 2 1/2 times more foreign aid than any other nation, many of which nations would not even exist without the US.

Are you seriously suggesting firearm ownership has anything to do with America's economic performance? 

on Nov 03, 2013

Brewskin
even though the majority of the countries of this old planet have favorable, even highly favorable views of the US, it's leadership, and it's citizens,

Never said there was any issues re favourable views of 'the US, its leadership or its citizens', only that no-one outside of the US can comprehend what mechanism is in place that prevents the US in general from any form of pro-active response to the prevalence of mass-killings.

Now, naturally there will be the mandatory response that 'cars kill people too...ergo ban cars' - also lauded by 'reasonable' debaters who again miss the point of what 'constitutes' [there's that word again] a WEAPON.

America is a great country....tends to get a little over-zealous re policing the planet at times.... loves to protect others from themselves ... but meanwhile defends to the death the right for every citizen to own the SPECIFIC tools to kill people.

It wouldn't be so bad if it were a 'privilege' to be awarded/qualified rather than a RIGHT to all [and clearly also to the lethally deranged].

Now if it's all about not having a reliable/trustworthy police force that thus demands you MUST be able to defend yourself directly...then perhaps it's time to get a better police force - you know... fight the issue head-on.

I recall the interview with an 'American' couple on Australia Day....when asked why they were becoming Australian Citizens said 'because our [AUS] gun laws made them feel safer'.  Obviously they were derranged and a mere isolated abberation....and everyone in the US is 100% behind the precepts of the NRA.

Clearly the cries of 'Gun Control' the world hears after every mass-shooting is a leftist-pinko generated false-hood whose sole agenda is to wrest those guns from Heston's dead cold hands....

 

on Nov 03, 2013

psychoak
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stolen_Generations



If only someone had explained to the Aborigines that there wasn't any reason to fear the government that disarmed them.



Most of human history is the people in power stomping on the ones that aren't. It's foolish to believe our species has evolved beyond such behavior. Especially when you live in one of the many countries that have been doing just that in living memory.

Psychoak..

This thread is about the Second Amendment.  If you want to point-score with the treatment of the Australian Aboriginies....might I thus mention the '500 Nations'?

Trust me... that line of debate will see you lose.

on Nov 03, 2013

GoaFan77


Quoting Frogboy, reply 6We did update it - with constitutional amendments. We didn't just decide the words meant something different.

Re politics. Not trying to make it a liberal/conservative thing. It's unfortunate the original article dovetailed into politics.

The part that interests me is how we tend to try to change the meaning of laws through semantics.

Sometimes yes. But in practice the same words also get reinterpreted by society, and usually get legitimized via arguments in the Supreme Court. The text of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments did not change between Plessy V. Furguson and Brown V. Board of Education, yet in the 1890s the court ruled separate but equal was constitutional and by the 1950s it was not. Granted some people hate this kind of thing and dub it "judicial activism", but in practice you need to have some flexibility with the meaning of your laws to change with the times, as making amendments to change every little detail would be impractical.

That's a good point.  One of the reasons the later amendments get more interpretation than the others is that they are written a lot more...I dunno, vaguely.  

The first 10 amendments are pretty short and to the point.

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