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Thread: Encompassing purposes behind guns into the purpose of the 2A

  1. #1
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    I read the SCOTUS oral arguments, and the main thrust of arguments involving the first half of the Amendment focused on the militia as a civilian military force, and such force was necessary to the security of a free State. DC posited one argument, in fact, that such a force runs COUNTER to the security of a free state, as evidenced by the high crime rate. They also debated the notion that if it is purely to ensure military readiness, then the use of firearms by civilians for any other purpose (i.e. hunting) is not protected by the 2A. Heller's counsel, Mr Gura, didn't seem to have a good answer to that (luckily the justices, by their questions and bench debate, steered him in a good direction).

    How about this for a thesis: the Second Amendment's purpose, as stated, is to ensure a "well-regulated" or in current parlance "well-equipped and trained", civilian population that may be needed to fight to preserve our nation. Thus, this "militia", thearmed citizenry,can be thought of as anundeployed military force. Let's then apply military logic and justify the varying uses of a firearm in terms of a would-be soldier:

    Self-Preservation:

    A soldier's first priority is to stay alive. Dead men do not fight. This first purpose of firearms from the standpoint of a soldier encompasses two fundamental uses: first, self-defense (you become dead very quickly if you cannot make the other guy dead first). Second is hunting. Lack of food is a prettyguaranteed way to die; thus,a soldier must be able to find his own food if it cannot be provided to him.

    Defense of Others:

    From a military standpoint, a soldier's next priority is to do whatever he can to keep the guy next to him alive without violating his priority to keep his own skin in one piece with the same number of holes it's always had. The guy next to you, even if unarmed and not part of your force, can assist you now or in the future. Thus, a soldier has a duty to use his weapon in defense of the people around him, because you never know when you'll need every person you can get.

    Protecting those around you also jives with preserving the security of the free State. How many times have you heard "saving the world, one person at a time"? The State includes its civilians. If that's the purpose of the Second Amendment, then defense of third persons is every citizen's civic duty.

    Defense of Property:

    The defense of property serves two purposes. First, a soldier is expected to keep possession of his own belongings, because a lot of what he has is essential to survival. Even in the real world where we do not carry everything we need to stay alive in a backpack, many possessions are essential, such as your car, your home, your food stores and your means to replenish those things (i.e. money, like your wallet). The soldier is therefore expected, and must by consequence have the right, to defend his stuff.

    Second, protection of property can also be equated to defense of the State, depending on whose property it is. If an invading force is looting downtown, even though that's not your own property, you have a civic responsibility to help defend it because in destroying infrastructure they are attacking the State itself.

    Defense of State:

    Here's the most obvious tenet. If the purpose of the Second Amendment is to secure the free State, then this one goes without saying. This applies to defense from an external force, from internal crime, and from governmental tyranny of the governed State (the people). You as a citizen soldiermust be able to keep and bear arms because any of those can happen.

    The last tenet is "other". Because "well-equipped and well-trained" are BOTH important, bullets fired for target practice, not to defend, are still essential because in practicing, you are training to use the weapon effectively should it ever be needed. This is true regardless of how formal or informal the practice, or even the shooter's real intention; even a shooter firing at Binnie the *********'s picture purely for enjoyment is still good training for firing the gun to defend.

    Age and conscientious objectiondoesn't matter; another question posed by the Justices is that if the 2A exists simply to form a militia, does that mean people who can't, won't or don't have to serve if called up have no RKBA? The answer is no, because under the definition of "militia" as simply "armed citizenry", if you have a gun and can use it you can be of use as part of the militia. Anyone too young or too old to be drafted can still fight, as can those who are impaired by infirmity or disability. They are of less use as they are probably less mobile and less strong physically, but it doesn't mean they can't fire that weapon at an advancing enemy just as effectively as a well-built 25-year-old. Those who conscientiously object to military service are always allowed to change their mind; the sight of a Venezuelan tank column driving up I-35 through Dallas shooting everything in sightwould probably influence even the most pacifistic individual.

    Type of weapon, for similar reasons, also doesn't matter. DC wants to ban handguns, but a handgun is an effective, military-issued weapon. Hunting rifles can and do have military purpose; hell, stick a scope on a civilian .308 Remington 700 SPS and you have, for all practical purposes, an M24 sniper rifle. Shotguns are also military weapons; Mossberg 590 pump-actions are used by Army squads throughout Iraq. Even a .22 can kill, and in fact more civilians have died from .22s than any other round.

    Just some musings while looking over the oral arguments. Quite simply, even if the preservation of a militia is the only purpose, it still extends to ANY lawful use ofANY firearm. Comments?

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    You make a good case.

    I kind of go along with the idea that "defense of state" trumps all. Defending against tyranny already gives the people the right to keep and bear arms, so any other use of firearms need not be related to the purpose for why the people can keep and bear arms in the first place. You don't need to be exclusively talking about the government in order to be protected by the First Amendment...


    Anyhow, as I've said before, I'm very pessimistic about the outcome of Heller, as a true pro-militia interpretation of the Second Amendment would necessitate a lifting of the ban on machine guns, sawed-off shotguns, and other military guns, and SCOTUS isn't going to do that. So it will be some watered-down argument that hey, oh, some guys wrote something about guns in the Constitution, yeah yeah DC residents can have single-shot .22 rifles in their homes, umm reasonable restrictions, yup. I hope I'm wrong.

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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    You make a good case.

    I kind of go along with the idea that "defense of state" trumps all. Defending against tyranny already gives the people the right to keep and bear arms, so any other use of firearms need not be related to the purpose for why the people can keep and bear arms in the first place. You don't need to be exclusively talking about the government in order to be protected by the First Amendment...


    Anyhow, as I've said before, I'm very pessimistic about the outcome of Heller, as a true pro-militia interpretation of the Second Amendment would necessitate a lifting of the ban on machine guns, sawed-off shotguns, and other military guns, and SCOTUS isn't going to do that. So it will be some watered-down argument that hey, oh, some guys wrote something about guns in the Constitution, yeah yeah DC residents can have single-shot .22 rifles in their homes, umm reasonable restrictions, yup. I hope I'm wrong.
    And all speakers were very careful to say that SCOTUS' ruling should not be interpreted to undo FOPA/Lautenberg, GCA, etc. So, Miller defines "arms" as arms that can serve a military purpose (like I said, practically any powder firearm can be used militarily) and that are common in civilian use. The justices pointed to stats on fully-automatic weapons in the U.S. and stated there are only about 160,000 such weapons in a country of 300 million people; thus, MGs are very uncommon.

    But machine guns are not common in civilian use for the sole reason that we haven't been able to import them since '68 and haven't been able to buy new ones at all since '86. Without Lautenberg, I'll bet every AK and AR in this country would be select-fire; who'd handicap themselves with a semi-auto version if they didn't have to? So the position that machine guns wouldn't be common in civilian use without Lautenbergis pure BS; it begs the question because we ban MGsto make them uncommon and thensay we should continue to ban them because they aren't common.

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    Liko81 wrote:
    imperialism2024 wrote:
    You make a good case.

    I kind of go along with the idea that "defense of state" trumps all. Defending against tyranny already gives the people the right to keep and bear arms, so any other use of firearms need not be related to the purpose for why the people can keep and bear arms in the first place. You don't need to be exclusively talking about the government in order to be protected by the First Amendment...


    Anyhow, as I've said before, I'm very pessimistic about the outcome of Heller, as a true pro-militia interpretation of the Second Amendment would necessitate a lifting of the ban on machine guns, sawed-off shotguns, and other military guns, and SCOTUS isn't going to do that. So it will be some watered-down argument that hey, oh, some guys wrote something about guns in the Constitution, yeah yeah DC residents can have single-shot .22 rifles in their homes, umm reasonable restrictions, yup. I hope I'm wrong.
    And all speakers were very careful to say that SCOTUS' ruling should not be interpreted to undo FOPA/Lautenberg, GCA, etc. So, Miller defines "arms" as arms that can serve a military purpose (like I said, practically any powder firearm can be used militarily) and that are common in civilian use. The justices pointed to stats on fully-automatic weapons in the U.S. and stated there are only about 160,000 such weapons in a country of 300 million people; thus, MGs are very uncommon.

    But machine guns are not common in civilian use for the sole reason that we haven't been able to import them since '68 and haven't been able to buy new ones at all since '86. Without Lautenberg, I'll bet every AK and AR in this country would be select-fire; who'd handicap themselves with a semi-auto version if they didn't have to? So the position that machine guns wouldn't be common in civilian use without Lautenbergis pure BS; it begs the question because we ban MGsto make them uncommon and thensay we should continue to ban them because they aren't common.
    Yup, sounds about right...

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    Very well done in the OP, Liko81. Very cogent argument and discussion of the matter.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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