Thoughts On Our 2nd Amendment And The Original Intent

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txcharvel
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Thoughts On Our 2nd Amendment And The Original Intent

Postby txcharvel » Tue Jul 12, 2016 11:42 am

I’ve pondered the second amendment for many years. Even as a child I can remember sitting in class trying to dissect this in hopes of understanding it more completely. Something that recently caught my attention was the fact that in the original hand written document, as passed by Congress and preserved in the national archives, state is capitalized.

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.


What was meant by this? We’re they referring to the individual states? In this case, I think so.

First, the idea of a central federal government was already accepted and was referred to as such. Anything having to do with central government was referred to as federal. State was reserved for referring to the individual states.

Second, the original idea was that the states would support the federal government. One way they did this was by supplying troops when asked to do so by the federal government. If you’ve ever been to a civil war battlefield, this idea is very clear. Soldiers from individual states fought beside each other and sacrificed as one. If there was a particular part of a battle with a high casualty count, chances are that all of these men would have come from the same state. The idea of a truly federalized army did not come about until after the civil war.

The authors of our constitution had different ideas on how the new United States should be governed, namely either a strong or weak federal government, but they all agreed that they never wanted to be oppressed as they were under British rule. They wanted to guarantee that they would always be free to speak out against our government (the 1st amendment), and that they would be able to oppress tyranny (the 2nd amendment).

Since each state would be expected to maintain a militia, how could they ensure that the people in each state would be able to stand up to oppression? This was especially important since the federal government was incredibly dependent on the individual states. Think of it this way:

Since a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state that is part of a centralized government, it is vital that the right of individual persons to keep and bear arms not be infringed.


When you read our constitution, it’s difficult to imagine that the authors ever meant for the federal government to have the kind of authority over the individual as is the case today. We’ve come a long way in the last 240 years, and in my opinion we’ve certainly lost our way. It happened very slowly, and most everything seemed like a good idea at the time. Bit by bit, individuals have surrendered their rights away to state government. Bit by bit, the states have surrendered their rights away to the federal government. And bit by bit, our federal government is surrendering our own rights away to justify a better world for all. What kind of world will we live in when all of our rights are gone?

In the end, all of this is mute, and I believe that our founding father knew this to be true: That these are all laws created by men, and all men are fallible.

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Re: Thoughts On Our 2nd Amendment And The Original Intent

Postby Middle Age Russ » Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:09 pm

To me the terms "a free State" are a bit more generic, as in possibly replacing a with any so that it reads any free State. The first clause of the Amendment is a preamble of sorts, stating the purpose of codifying the right. Free State would simply be any sovereign government instituted by and deriving its power from the People.
Last edited by Middle Age Russ on Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thoughts On Our 2nd Amendment And The Original Intent

Postby Lynyrd » Tue Jul 12, 2016 7:59 pm

I'm not a constitutional scholar, but I know this. It dang sure ain't about hunting, or the right to defend you and your family against criminals.
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Re: Thoughts On Our 2nd Amendment And The Original Intent

Postby Pawpaw » Tue Jul 12, 2016 8:57 pm

There is no need to guess what the second amendment means. Most of our founding fathers were prolific writers and they wrote a great deal about it. It doesn't take much research to learn where they were coming from and what they meant.

Do yourself a favor... Get and read a copy of The Second Amendment Primer.
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Re: Thoughts On Our 2nd Amendment And The Original Intent

Postby C-dub » Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:26 pm

Pawpaw wrote:There is no need to guess what the second amendment means. Most of our founding fathers were prolific writers and they wrote a great deal about it. It doesn't take much research to learn where they were coming from and what they meant.

Do yourself a favor... Get and read a copy of The Second Amendment Primer.

I decided to take this advice and ordered The Second Amendment Primer from Amazon. It arrived today and I've started to read it tonight after getting home from work. I'm about 20 pages in so far and really like this book/primer.
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Re: Thoughts On Our 2nd Amendment And The Original Intent

Postby mojo84 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:42 am

I highly recommend the free online courses offered by Hillsdale College. While not just focused on the 2nd Amendmemt, they do have some courses on the Constitution and Federalist papers.

https://online.hillsdale.edu/dashboard/courses


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Re: Thoughts On Our 2nd Amendment And The Original Intent

Postby treadlightly » Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:12 am

Federalist 46 is a good read. James Madison was defending the idea of a federal standing army, and clearly defends the right of individual possession of firearms suited for battle. He says, "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."

The gist of that, to me, is the existence of state governments forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, sure, but never forget Americans have the advantage of being armed. Don't mess with their rights.

More revealing to me, though, was something I learned long after high school and college civics classes. Never once in formal government classes did I hear mention of the Antifederalists, the people Madison was addressing.

I don't know enough about this. I should study up. My impression is the Federalists didn't fear a strong central government with a standing army because the real power always came from individuals, and that the citizenry was an absolute check against tyranny.

The Federalists opposed the Bill of Rights as unnecessary. To them, those rights were so natural they didn't need to be listed.

Besides, Americans possess the almost unique right to arms. It's not like we're a Soviet puppet or Australia or almost anywhere else.


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Re: Thoughts On Our 2nd Amendment And The Original Intent

Postby koine2002 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:12 am

I deal with this in my own field as a biblical scholar in the field of hermeneutics (the science of interpretation). To many a modern mind authorial intent is an exercise in futility. Either it cannot be known or it is not relevant. All that matters is what such language means to us today. I'm taking a big risk of oversimplifying a complex line of thinking, but for the deconstructionist what matters is how WE understand it and not what the author was intending. Even the author's original audience's understanding is disregarded. There's a whole complex line of reasoning behind his that has to do with the very natures of knowledge, knowability, and existence.

For those of us who value authorial intent, the task is to take that authorial intent and communicate it to a modern world without doing injustice to the same.
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Re: Thoughts On Our 2nd Amendment And The Original Intent

Postby twomillenium » Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:13 am

Over the last 240 years of this nation of free people, many things have been corrected because we did not get it 100% right the first time. Slavery and voting rights come into mind as good corrections, neither of these caused someone else to pay or give something to another that should not have been taken or restricted from that person. These corrections were changed, not by edict, but by the process that was put into effect by the original law so that changes could be made by the majority and not a minority.

I believe that each State is like an individual nation that has agreed to join other individual nations in order to compliment and make stronger their own resources, with these common agreements with like nations. They did not want to be ruled by a central government but they did give a federal government the ability to enforce these common agreements between nations. Much like we give Law Enforcement the authority to enforce legal laws through service and not through being the boss.

The federal government has been given authority to enforce these common agreements and should come through service to the nations (states) and citizens and not through the strength of it's own intimidation to make the federal government supreme in all causes.

Lots of good intentions are paid for by a few to help a majority. While at the time, it seems good, it is also like a bee sting to the body, the body of a nation of citizens. However, after many small bee stings, the stings amass together and become toxic, to make the body sick and it can be even fatal to the body.

That is where I believe we are today. These states are no longer served by the federal government, but they are ruled over by the federal government. We call this great nation the USA or the UNITED STATES of AMERICA. This originally was just that - states that were united by common causes. It seems as if we are becoming states that are bound together by a Federal government that is overstepping it's authority in all facets of our being. It also seems, that the Federal Government sees itself as the ruler of subjects instead of the provider of service for citizens. The stronger this behavior becomes, closer we get to total tyranny.

The Second Amendment was about individual right to bear arms. Even the modern SC agrees with this in the decision of District of Columbia vs Heller. We citizens have a right to protect ourselves and families. This includes bad guys and ALL evil threats. Hunting and sport shooting is a by-product, not the original intent.

P.S. This post is not intended to support the overthrow of our Central Government or succession of any state in the USA. It is to encourage the voting citizen to think about which present choice would represent them best in protecting our unalienable rights. In some cases, we only get to choose who would be the slowest path of destruction, so that we may buy precious time to elect those who will defend those rights and reverse the obvious path this great Nation is seemingly on.
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Re: Thoughts On Our 2nd Amendment And The Original Intent

Postby ScottDLS » Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:31 am

You are all missing the Sporting Purposes clause and the Hunting Deer language of the Constitution. The DWEMs who gave us the Constitution only wanted us to have black powder flintlocks to hunt deer. They, of course, did not foresee modern weapons of war like the AR15 and Apple iPhone encryption that have no place on our streets.
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Re: Thoughts On Our 2nd Amendment And The Original Intent

Postby JALLEN » Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:41 am

If you really want to get into it, start with the opinions in Heller.

Each contains citations to prior decisions, go to those opinions and read them. Those in turn cite precedents relied on and so forth. Some citations are to other works, not court decisions, of course.

The interpretation of those two lines has occupied untold hours of dozens of exceedingly will trained and experienced lawyers and judges, with, not surprisingly, different views, and over the centuries of its existence, dealing with actual fact situations, not the idealized nonsense of fiction writers often encountered.
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Re: Thoughts On Our 2nd Amendment And The Original Intent

Postby Charles L. Cotton » Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:27 am

JALLEN wrote:If you really want to get into it, start with the opinions in Heller.

:iagree: Much of the scholarly work that had been written on the Second Amendment for the 40 years preceding the Heller Opinion was cited in the Opinion. Then read books, law review articles and other articles by Steve Halbrook, David Kopel, Dave Hardy and Prof. Nelson Lund.

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Re: Thoughts On Our 2nd Amendment And The Original Intent

Postby mr1337 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:32 am

ScottDLS wrote:You are all missing the Sporting Purposes clause and the Hunting Deer language of the Constitution. The DWEMs who gave us the Constitution only wanted us to have black powder flintlocks to hunt deer. They, of course, did not foresee modern weapons of war like the AR15 and Apple iPhone encryption that have no place on our streets.


I believe those are covered under the asterisk the Framers put after the 2nd Amendment, in the fine text at the end of the constitution.

... shall not be infringed.*


...

* Void where prohibited.
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Re: Thoughts On Our 2nd Amendment And The Original Intent

Postby Soccerdad1995 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:39 am

ScottDLS wrote:You are all missing the Sporting Purposes clause and the Hunting Deer language of the Constitution. The DWEMs who gave us the Constitution only wanted us to have black powder flintlocks to hunt deer. They, of course, did not foresee modern weapons of war like the AR15 and Apple iPhone encryption that have no place on our streets.


Yes, clearly the founders could not possibly foresee that things would evolve. They had seen the evolution of weaponry from pointed sticks and rocks, to swords and bows, then crossbows, then the invention of gunpowder and the firearm. These same folks surely thought that weapons would never, ever, continue to evolve. Yet they were somehow able to foresee that a great future thinker named Al Gore would develop the internet, and a modern Ben Franklin named Zuckerberg would spur an explosion of social media. So we need to limit the 2nd Amendment to only weapons that were in existence when the constitution was written, but the 1st Amendment applies to every form of communication that exists today.

Do liberals really believe that we are this stupid? Here's an even scarier thought - maybe they are right......
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Re: Thoughts On Our 2nd Amendment And The Original Intent

Postby TXBO » Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:49 am

Soccerdad1995 wrote:
ScottDLS wrote:You are all missing the Sporting Purposes clause and the Hunting Deer language of the Constitution. The DWEMs who gave us the Constitution only wanted us to have black powder flintlocks to hunt deer. They, of course, did not foresee modern weapons of war like the AR15 and Apple iPhone encryption that have no place on our streets.


Yes, clearly the founders could not possibly foresee that things would evolve. They had seen the evolution of weaponry from pointed sticks and rocks, to swords and bows, then crossbows, then the invention of gunpowder and the firearm. These same folks surely thought that weapons would never, ever, continue to evolve. Yet they were somehow able to foresee that a great future thinker named Al Gore would develop the internet, and a modern Ben Franklin named Zuckerberg would spur an explosion of social media. So we need to limit the 2nd Amendment to only weapons that were in existence when the constitution was written, but the 1st Amendment applies to every form of communication that exists today.

Do liberals really believe that we are this stupid? Here's an even scarier thought - maybe they are right......


The Constitution most certainly is a living document, subject to change over the years of it's life. The very breath of our living document is the amendment process. The founding fathers most definitely anticipated additions, deletions and changes to the document written by fallible human beings.


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