Jump to content
bsjkki

Las Vegas shooting

Recommended Posts

5 hours ago, Stargazer said:

Your opinion is your own, and you're entitled to it. However, the second amendment has nothing to do with hunting. And self-defense is secondary.  Based on original intent, individual military-grade weapons, or weapons which are suitable for military use, are precisely what the second amendment addresses. In its own verbiage, in fact. And there's case law:

US v. Miller (1939) - held that a sawed-off shotgun could not fall under the second amendment because such a weapon didn't have a military use. In other words, if it had a military use, then its ownership would have come under the protection of the amendment. Interestingly, the Mr. Miller who had been charged with possession of the shotgun in question was a bank robber who had testified against his co-perpetrators. The district court judge in the case (who was actually in favor of the National Firearms Act ban of short shotguns) allowed the second amendment demurrer to stand because Mr. Miller needed to be able to disappear before retribution from his erstwhile co-perpetrators materialized. The judge was certain that an appeal would fail and the law would be upheld because Mr. Miller would simply disappear and would never pay for a lawyer to argue his case before an appeals court, and the judgement would thus lose on appeal. In the event, that is exactly what happened. The supreme court, with no one to argue for a military use of short shotguns, simply said that absent a valid military use, short shotguns were not protected by the second amendment. Case closed, as it were. HOWEVER, if a lawyer had pled the case, he or she would have been able to argue that short shotguns did have a military use: in the previous war (WW1) short shotguns had been used extensively during trench combat -- the short shotgun was very much a military weapon.

District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) - held that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. I'd say that this is a liberalization of original intent, but since it's the Supreme Court, they have the right to liberalize it if they want.

And then we come to the militia. Who are the militia? The answer can be found in the United States Code: 10 USC § 246 - Militia: composition and classes:

  • The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
  • the classes of the militia are—
    • the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
    • the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

If you're a citizen, or have declared an intent to become a citizen, and you're between 17 and 45 years of age, you're a member of the US militia. If you're not in the organized militia, you're in the unorganized militia. This is also codified in the constitutions and laws of many of the states. In Washington state, with whose laws in this connection I am very familiar, there is no upper age limit or restriction as to sex as to who is part of the militia. I, a 66 year old male, have aged out of membership in the US unorganized militia, but remain a member of the Washington state unorganized militia. According to state law the governor may call me out to serve in the militia if he or she so desires. And I must report bearing arms supplied by myself (because the state probably doesn't have sufficient for the purpose). And if I show up with my single-shot rifle, then I am improperly armed.

NOTE: This is what the Constitution provides. This is the supreme law of the land. If you believe that the Second Amendment is outdated and no longer applicable to modern life, and that the nature of firearms ownership must change to be merely a matter of hunting and self-defense -- well and good, but that is an entirely different argument. I'm talking about current law. 

 

Not sure that fits the Second Amendment. I find at least my local chapter of the militia to not be well-regulated at all as required by the Second Amendment. I cannot remember the last time they had us get together for training and I have never received instructions as to which weapons I should train in or a copy of the militia rules and regulations. One would almost think the whole thing was a farce and does not even exist.

Share this post


Link to post
56 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Not sure that fits the Second Amendment. I find at least my local chapter of the militia to not be well-regulated at all as required by the Second Amendment. I cannot remember the last time they had us get together for training and I have never received instructions as to which weapons I should train in or a copy of the militia rules and regulations. One would almost think the whole thing was a farce and does not even exist.

Your light-hearted mockery is noted, with a smile. :) 

But it used to be otherwise. Early in the history of the Republic there was some trouble taken to maintain an actual organized militia. Not to turn this post into a treatise, I suggest you read about the Militia Acts of 1792. You will see from that that things were in fact organized as you describe. Gradually the true concept of the militia has been allowed to slide into the doldrums.  Nowadays the unorganized militia is understood to be the body of citizenry able to bear arms, that can be called up if necessary.  After the Revolution, the country had a legitimate suspicion, if not fear, of a standing army. If you've ever studied the Federalist Papers you would have read how Madison, in arguing for ratification of the Constitution, made the explicit point that as long as the militia maintained its own arms there should be no fear that the government could use its potential standing army to oppress the people, because no standing army would be able to defeat the whole body of the people rising up to prevent this -- with their own arms, of course.

Madison wrote in Federalist No. 46: "Extravagant as the supposition is, [that the federal government might oppress the people] let it however be made.  Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger.  The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms.  This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men.

              "To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence.  It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops.  Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it.

              "Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.  Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.  And it is not certain, that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes."  [q.v.]

The points I am trying to make are these: 

  • The purpose of the Second Amendment was, and is, to make certain that the citizens of this country have the wherewithal to effectively oppose their own government, if in the unlikely extreme case it became necessary.
  • That wherewithal is only guaranteed if the federal government is forbidden from taking away the arms of the people -- and we're not talking about hunting rifles, either. We're talking arms suitable for combat.
  • Virtually every single state constitution has its own equivalent of the federal constitution's Second Amendment -- because the principle of the right to bear arms by the people is saturated at every level.
  • If the right of the people to abolish or alter their own governments, by force of arms if necessary (as reiterated by Abraham Lincoln in his first inaugural address, by the way) still remains the right of the people, then the right to bear arms cannot be abolished. Because the right to abolish or alter their own governments by force of arms necessarily entails the possession of arms suitable for doing so. Remove either and the other is abrogated.
  • If it is decided that the right of self-government is to be abolished, then and only then will it be reasonable to repeal the Second Amendment.  

You can agree or disagree with all that, as you will, but its a fact, Jack.

And we can hardly rise up to throw off our oppressors, if such there be, if we're restricted to muzzle-loaders and blunderbusses.  But this is what the Left want us restricted to, of course.  If that.

Edited by Stargazer

Share this post


Link to post

The reality is that since at least World War 2 the ability of citizens to overthrow the government in conventional combat is non existent in any case so I am not sure how people think this right is to be preserved. Okay, you have a nice handgun. The federal government has drones, bombers, sniper rifles that can kill you beyond visual range, rocket artillery, biological and chemical weapons, and tactical nukes. Joe Average who stockpiled 15 guns and his friends would die in seconds. 

Those morons in the Northwest who took over the sanctuary proved how impotent armed occupations and revolts are. The only reason they did not die in the first hour in their stupid little coup was that the government did not want to kill them. If you armed every civilian man, woman, and child in the United States and had them rise up with a military grade weapon each the military wins....easily. Their only danger would be running out of ammo.

The Federalist Papers and Lincoln's speech do not match current reality. One way you could allow civilians to be a credible threat would be to drastically scale back the military but paradoxically those who want to bear arms in case they need to bring down the government also want a well funded military. Not sure if they have thought this through.

Needing a gun to bring down the government is as obsolete as if the Italians still followed the old Roman tradition and made sure all members of the landed classes had a horse so they could serve as Equites to serve the Empire.

Share this post


Link to post

"effectively oppose their own government"

Unless we can start collecting tanks and drones, "effectively opposed" is effectively impossible.

Share this post


Link to post
10 hours ago, Calm said:

"effectively oppose their own government"

Unless we can start collecting tanks and drones, "effectively opposed" is effectively impossible.

An insurgency "guerilla" campaign might be successful but that is not what the Founders had in mind. They wanted a weak peacetime federal army (there are times in then1800s when the US Army only had around five thousand soldiers on active duty or even less.

Share this post


Link to post
9 hours ago, thesometimesaint said:

The Founders wanted nothing to do with Armed Rebellions against their government.

Odd that the Founders said nothing against it, though. But how could they object, after all, having rebelled against their government themselves?

One rule for thee and a different one for me? Quite the opposite in fact. Perhaps you missed the Madison quote from Federalist No. 46 that posted above?  But I recognize that my post was rather long, and you may not have had the time to read it. Unfortunately, this post has grown to a large size as well. I'm just too wordy for my own good. But oftentimes short and pithy misstatements of fact require longer ones in reply. 

Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, the first US Secretary of State, 2nd Vice President of the US, 3rd US President, surely a Founding Father if ever was one, once wrote to James Madison, 5th US Secretary of State, 4th US President, and known as "The Father of the Constitution", the following: " I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."  It is not recorded anywhere that Madison, as much a Founding Father as Jefferson, ever objected to Jefferson's sentiment.  I've reproduced the full quote in context below for your enjoyment*.

Not a Founding Father, but surely one who ranks high in the national pantheon, Abraham Lincoln devoted his life to the maintaining of the Union in the face of Confederate rebellion. He recognized that the right of revolution still existed. In his first inaugural address he said: "This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it."  Lincoln, by the way, was a master of oratory. His first inaugural address is well worth the time it takes to read. It is not very long. Lincoln's First Inaugural Address.

It is quite clear that the South did not have the right of secession, because under the Constitution there is no such right. But even Lincoln recognized that they had the right of rebellion. By the same right that the United States secured its own independence, that right was available to the South. Although it was Lincoln's sworn duty, through his oath of office, to do everything he could to prevent it. As he said in that same address: "In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to 'preserve, protect, and defend it.'"

As for one of the purposes of the militia, surely you remember the Whiskey Rebellion?  Distillers in western Pennsylvania were resisting, by force of arms, the collection of the new federal excise taxes on alcohol. After negotiation failed, President Washington raised an army of 13,000 militiamen -- who bore their own arms for the purpose, by the way -- and led them personally to the area in order to put down the rebellion. Bloodlessly, as it turned out, because the rebellious distillers weren't quite crazy enough to try to oppose Washington and his army.  Before that had been Shay's Rebellion, which occurred because of perceived economic and civil rights injustices. That rebellion was put down (also by Washington, interestingly), but it was one of the signal events that helped leaders to recognize that a reform of the national government was necessary. So it did serve a purpose, ultimately.  The occasion of Shay's Rebellion was what prompted Jefferson to write to Madison in the quote above, in which he also famously wrote: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."

* Thomas Jefferson on rebellion: "Societies exist under three forms sufficiently distinguishable. 1. Without government, as among our Indians. 2. Under governments wherein the will of every one has a just influence, as is the case in England in a slight degree, and in our states in a great one. 3. Under governments of force: as is the case in all other monarchies and in most of the other republics. To have an idea of the curse of existence under these last, they must be seen. It is a government of wolves over sheep. It is a problem, not clear in my mind, that the 1st. condition is not the best. But I believe it to be inconsistent with any great degree of population. The second state has a great deal of good in it. The mass of mankind under that enjoys a precious degree of liberty and happiness. It has it’s evils too: the principal of which is the turbulence to which it is subject. But weigh this against the oppressions of monarchy, and it becomes nothing. Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem. Even this evil is productive of good. It prevents the degeneracy of government, and nourishes a general attention to the public affairs. I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.1 Unsuccessful rebellions indeed generally establish the incroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions, as not to discourage them too much. It is a medecine necessary for the sound health of government." - Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, Paris, January 30, 1787 - The full text of the letter can be read HERE.

Share this post


Link to post

Washington lead the US Army against a bunch of armed Yahoos at Shay's Rebellion and  the Whiskey rebellion.

Share this post


Link to post
On 10/11/2017 at 9:19 PM, Calm said:

"effectively oppose their own government"

Unless we can start collecting tanks and drones, "effectively opposed" is effectively impossible.

Oddly enough, the South started off with no Army, but managed to raise an effective one in short order.  It did lose the war, thankfully, but if the Union Army had continued to bungle the job, as they started out to do, the South might well have won. The South started out with the Union Army's best military commanders, but after Lincoln ran through the Union Army's worst generals, he finally found a few that could use the military power that was available.

TSS notes above that an "insurgency" might succeed, but he thinks that is not what the Founders envisioned -- thereby admitting that he was wrong about what the Founders thought vis-a-vis rebellion. And he's right that the Founders were not envisioning such. But the Founders never envisioned machine guns, tanks and atomic bombs either.  Times change; conditions change.

But a rebellion does not need to succeed militarily in order to effect change. Shay's Rebellion failed utterly, but brought attention to the cause that the rebels were up in arms about, and led to improvements on the issues that impelled the rebellion. That rebellion was also partly responsible for sparking recognition that the Articles of Confederation needed to improved or replaced. Thus it helped lead to the Constitution.

And there's a somewhat more modern example of a rebellion that did succeed in the US.  It happened just after the end of WW2 in 1946. It is called the Battle of Athens.  You can read about it HERE.  

Share this post


Link to post
46 minutes ago, thesometimesaint said:

Washington lead the US Army against a bunch of armed Yahoos at Shay's Rebellion and  the Whiskey rebellion.

No, he led militiamen against them. In the case of Shay's rebellion, the federal government didn't have enough troops (due to financing problems) to send. So they raised 3,000 militia to put it down.  And 13,000 militia in the case of the Whiskey Rebellion.  It was armed Yahoos vs armed Yahoos. And of course, God is on the side with the most battalions, lol, so the smaller bunch of Yahoos either lost or vanished into thin air.

I've already said this. I don't think you're reading what I'm writing. So perhaps I shouldn't waste my time.

Edited by Stargazer

Share this post


Link to post

The Founders wanted those involved in both rebellions to go home a peacefully petition the government. Both proved that armed rebellion would be put down by the government.

Share this post


Link to post
8 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

No, he led militiamen against them. In the case of Shay's rebellion, the federal government didn't have enough troops (due to financing problems) to send. So they raised 3,000 militia to put it down.  And 13,000 militia in the case of the Whiskey Rebellion.  It was armed Yahoos vs armed Yahoos. And of course, God is on the side with the most battalions, lol, so the smaller bunch of Yahoos either lost or vanished into thin air.

I've already said this. I don't think you're reading what I'm writing. So perhaps I shouldn't waste my time.

The state militia's were nothing like the Yahoos of those rebellions.

Share this post


Link to post
4 minutes ago, thesometimesaint said:

The state militia's were nothing like the Yahoos of those rebellions.

Sigh. No, they were exactly like those Yahoos. There were no "organized" militias in either state (Pennsylvania and Massachusetts) at the time. The troops raised to oppose both rebellions were raised from the citizenry -- the "unorganized" militia -- in other words, from among the Yahoos. Of course, some of the Yahoos among the rebels would have served in the Revolution alongside the Yahoos among the militia.

In the case of Shay's Rebellion, the primary leaders of the rebellion, Daniel Shays and Luke Day were Revolutionary War veterans. They were both captains in the Continental Army. Shay was wounded in 1780, ending his participation. Day served from the beginning of the rebellion to the end of the war. They were not Yahoos, but trained and blooded military leaders.

I was thinking that Washington had led the forces that put down Shay's rebellion, but it turns out that this was actually Major General Benjamin Lincoln, Washington's second in command at the Battle of Yorktown.

Share this post


Link to post
17 hours ago, thesometimesaint said:

Under the US Constitution such armed rebellions are TREASON.

 

Yeah, so?

In case you hadn't noticed the Declaration of Independence was signed by a whole pack of traitors. :D

I direct your attention to D&C 134:5:

We believe that all men are bound to sustain and uphold the respective governments in which they reside, while protected in their inherent and inalienable rights by the laws of such governments; and that sedition and rebellion are unbecoming every citizen thus protected, and should be punished accordingly; and that all governments have a right to enact such laws as in their own judgments are best calculated to secure the public interest; at the same time, however, holding sacred the freedom of conscience.

The implication of this is that sedition and rebellion may not be unbecoming if the mentioned protections and rights are not respected by a government. Now, it may very well be the case that the depredations of the British crown did not rise to the level that according to this scripture justified the sedition and rebellion that was the American Revolution (or what Great Britain referred to as the Rebellion), but post-Revolution revealed scripture suggests that even if it didn't, God's approval and even direct inspiration was behind it.

For, as to the US Constitution, D&C 101:80:

And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood.

And if God established Constitutional government in this land, then it behooves all of us who hold a testimony of the divinity of the Restoration to stand with the Constitution. And besides, I once gave an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. This one, in fact:

I, Stargazer, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

And I don't consider my honorable discharge from the US Army to have discharged me from this oath. Accordingly, this I will defend.

But still, rebellion remains a right, as Abraham Lincoln stated, as and D&C 134:5 confirms.  Interesting paradox, isn't it?

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×