Second Amendment -- Say goodbye to your guns?

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A great ruling. The scope of this opinion is in its infancy. Look for many state/local challenges soon. This will be fun to read.

We are not the only people who think this is a great ruling. Some are stating that this is "the most significant opinion of this century, and likely, of the last two generations.â€￾ Others are a little less enthused, but still claim that this is the most important decision Scalia has ever opined.
You assume to much dude. I meant that there would be challenges to all the local and state bans and limits on gun ownership. Most will be overturned now that the court has ruled. Look for the limit in Chicago to be first.

Look here

Please show me how I "sound like Nancy Pelosi". You jumped the gun dude.

Did I mention that I agree with the ruling? I am a proud gun owner and hunter. I shoot and hunt on my little 26 acre piece of heaven here in the great state of Texas. :shock:
Do you hunt with the Glock, the Uzi or the AK47?
Do you hunt with the Glock, the Uzi or the AK47?
None of the above.

Where did that come from? Please explain.

I hunt (legally) with a Winchester .243 with a Redfield scope. I have a Glock .40, my wife has a S&W Ladysmith hammerless .357 magnum. I also have a 12 gauge Remington pump. I plink with a Ruger 10-22.

I live out in the middle of the woods at the end of my road. If someone comes past my posted signs, they are one of three things; 1) coming to see me 2) lost 3) up to no good. I have only had to deal with number three once.

My family members in law enforcement have no problem with my gun ownership.
None of the above.

Where did that come from? Please explain.

I hunt (legally) with a Winchester .243 with a Redfield scope. I have a Glock .40, my wife has a S&W Ladysmith hammerless .357 magnum. I also have a 12 gauge Remington pump. I plink with a Ruger 10-22.

I live out in the middle of the woods at the end of my road. If someone comes past my posted signs, they are one of three things; 1) coming to see me 2) lost 3) up to no good. I have only had to deal with number three once.

My family members in law enforcement have no problem with my gun ownership.

Sounds cool on this end......Get along little doggie,get along.


The shot about the Glock has me wondering.....just a friggin' auto.....Uzi/AK...thats another thing....but then again....used legally,whats wrong with an Uzi or AK?
Here is what the Second Amendment says:

"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."

The term "The People" is a common term, it implies a collective of individuals, unfortunately it does not mean "each individual person" as some would like to believe. "The People" is the term used to identify the government, be it local, state or federal. In lawsuits they dont normally say "the Government" they say "The People vs Joe Schmo". "We The People" is how the Constitution begins, it refers to the collective will of the majority.

"Well regulated militia" refers to a government-local, state or federally controled militia. Not any single individual or private group(since that would be an unregulated militia).

"The People" of the United States posess Nuclear weapons, individual citizens do not have the right to posess such weapons, legislation enacted after the adoption of the second amendment prohibited that, they are not even allowed to posess the materials used to make them.

So the Constitution does not provide every individual the right to bear arms, it provides the government the right to have an armed militia, whether that means local, state or federal is up to debate and would fall back to States rights.

It does so to maintain the security of a free state, not to stop trespassers on your property.

That said the Constitution does not forbid individuals from having firearms nor does it forbid local goverments from enacting their own regulations concerning arms .

I do feel that qualified individuals (people who have demonstated they know how to handle a weapon and do not suffer from any mental defect that could make them a hazard to the public) should have the right to reasonably arm themselves for protection and recreation but I also feel that "the people" have the right to ban certain types of fireams that endanger the public. However that is not a right provided by the Second Amendment.

So should Jeb be able to buy and carry a hunting rifle or pistol to protect himself out in the backwoods of Montana? Yes. As long as the people of Montana are alright with that. Should the people of NYC be allowed to ban the posession of such weapons within the confines of NYC? Yes.

The irony of the Supreme Courts recent verdict is that this is essentially the same court that ruled that individuals do not have the right to vote for the President!

You can own a gun but you dont have the right to vote. In Saddams Iraq anybody who wanted a gun could have one because Tyranny didnt fear guns in the hands of individuals, after all the Tyrants had bigger, better weapons, Tyrants fear free elections, not guns. When Tyrants are removed by individuals with guns they are normally replaced by other Tyrants, when Tyrants are removed by elections Democracy usually flourishes. Here in America we are slowly losing our right to have free elections but some are only worried about their guns.
The People

As ample evidence illustrates below, the people, as referred to in the Constitution at the time it was written, was synonymous with citizens. Also shown below, some scholars mistakenly assume that when the Constitution refers to "the people," a collective right or entity is referenced. However, that notion is incorrect. When the term "the people" is used, it could be referring to a right that is exercised individually, collectively, or both, depending on context. Of course, the meaning of the term "the people" is the same regardless.

Why wasn't "person" or "persons" used instead of "the people" when enumerating certain individual rights? "Persons," as referred to in the Constitution, signified a wider class of people than citizens. Persons included slaves. For example, Article 2, clause 3 of the Constitution refers to slaves as persons, but they were never considered as citizens or a part of the people: "Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons." (U.S. Constitution)

The Fourth Amendment of the Bill of Rights begins:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated..."

"The people" in the Fourth Amendment obviously refers to an individual right. (The phrase "in their persons" means people themselves [their bodies] cannot be unreasonably seized or searched. Compare the 14th Amendment from Virginia's proposed declaration of rights to the Constitution [also written by James Madison] to the 4th Amendment: "That every freeman has a right to be secure from all unreasonable searches and seizures of his person, his papers..." "Persons" in the 4th Amendment is used to match the plural "people.")

One of James Madison's proposed amendments:

"The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments; and the freedom of the press, as one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable."

Would anybody in their right mind suggest Madison proposed a collective right to speak, write, or publish their thoughts?

Looking at other declarations of rights from the time clearly shows "the people," being used in conjunction with the enumeration of indvidual rights.

For example, Article XIII of Pennsylvania's 1776 Declaration of Rights states:

"That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the state..."

Article XII from the same declaration says:

"That the people have a right to freedom of speech, and of writing, and publishing their sentiments; therefore the freedom of the press ought not to be restrained."

In both of the above examples, "the people" means each citizen. Would anyone seriously suggest that Article XII protects only a "collective right," or that the people's freedom of speech and writing is limited to those who posses a printing press or to works appearing in the news media?

Yet, there are those claiming "it is far from obvious that the meaning of the phrase 'defense of themselves' should be interpreted as a statement of individual rights.'" (Saul Cornell, "Don't Know Much About History" at p. 674. See also pp. 675-77.)

Cornell states, "One of the most serious problems with individual rights theory is that it makes it impossible to understand why some states embraced a new formulation of the right to bear arms in the nineteenth century. Rather than assert a right to 'bear arms for the defense of themselves and the state,' the new Jacksonian constitutional formulation of this right asserted that 'each person has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.' Indeed, the shift in language between the Founding Era and the Jacksonian period itself provides one of the best arguments against reading the earlier languague as advancing an individual right. There would have been little need to adopt the new formulation if the old one were widely understood to protect an individual right." (Cornell, St. George Tucker and the Second Amendment at pp. 1140-41)

Unfortunately for anti-individual rights advocates the historical record refutes "one of the best arguments:"

Pennsylvania kept that same clause in a 1790 revision as follows: "That the right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state shall not be questioned." James Wilson, president of the convention which adopted that provision, a leading Federalist, and later Supreme Court Justice, explained it in a discussion of homicide "when it is necessary for the defence of one's person or house." He continued:

it is the great natural law of self preservation, which, as we have seen, cannot be repealed, or superseded, or suspended by any human institution. This law, however, is expressly recognised in the constitution of Pennsylvania. "The right of the citizens to bear arms in the defence of themselves shall not be questioned." This is one of our many renewals of the Saxon regulations. "They were bound," says Mr. Selden, "to keep arms for the preservation of the kingdom, and of their own persons." [Web source of Wilson quote]

(Stephen Halbrook, St. George Tucker's Second Amendment at p. 18)

For further refutation of the notion that "in defense of themselves" was referring to a collective right or one that was entirely military see Randy Barnett, Was the Right to Keep and Bear Arms Conditioned on Service in an Organized Militia? at pp. 22-3.

Again looking at Virginia's proposed declaration of rights, from the preamble:

"That there be a Declaration or Bill of Rights asserting and securing from encroachment the essential and unalienable Rights of the People in some such manner as the following;"

Article Sixteen:

"That the people have a right to freedom of speech, and of writing and publishing their Sentiments; but the freedom of the press is one of the greatest bulwarks of liberty and ought not to be violated."

Article Sixteen enumerates rights that clearly can be exercised indvidually.

Roger Sherman's draft bill of rights clearly refers to individual rights when referring to the rights of the people (article 2 [at 983]), (Sherman was a Founder, Senator, and lawyer):

"The people have certain natural rights which are retained by them when they enter into Society, such are the rights of Conscience in matters of religion; of acquiring property and of pursuing happiness & Safety; of Speaking, writing and publishing their Sentiments with decency and freedom; of peaceably assembling to consult their common good, and of applying Government by petition or remonstrance for redress of grievances. Of these rights therefore they Shall not be deprived by the Government of the united states."

From the Articles of Confederation:

"The people of each State shall free ingress and regress to and from any other State, and shall enjoy therein all the privileges of trade and commerce..."

Hopefully the reader does not interpret the above as referring to a collective right to travel.

Yet, Yale law professor Akhil Amar claims, "when the Constitution speaks of 'the people' rather than 'persons,' the collective connotation is primary" (Second Thoughts: What the right to bear arms really means). Amar's theory unravels when looking at all of the evidence. He tries to reconcile a portion of it writing, "The Fourth Amendment is trickier... And these words obviously focus on the private domain, protecting individuals in their private homes more than in the public square. Why, then, did the Fourth use the words 'the people' at all? Probably to highlight the role that jurors--acting collectively and representing the electorate--would play in deciding which searches were reasonable and how much to punish government officials who searched or seized improperly."

Amar's reasoning might sound plausible in today's context, however he fails to provide an appropriate example. In 1789 jurors did not issue warrants or determine whether a search was reasonable and they could not "punish government officials who searched or seized improperly." There was no method of suing the government in 1789 for damages resulting from the violation of civil rights. Also Amar fails to explain Madison's draft amendment protecting the people's right to speak and write, mentioned above.

Regardless of what the duties and responsibilities of juries were in 1789, Amar apparently does not realize that in the Constitution, person, without further qualification, refers to a wider class of individuals than the people.

Some individual rights were protected for collective purposes, the Second Amendment being one of them. However this doesn't transform the individual right into a collective right belonging to the states or the militia. Keeping arms was a right that could be exercised individually or collectively.

Compare Amar's opinion with that of Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe's:

[The Second Amendment's] central purpose is to arm "We the People" so that ordinary citizens can participate in the collective defense of their community and their state. But it does so not through directly protecting a right on the part of states or other collectivities, assertable by them against the federal government, to arm the populace as they see fit. Rather the amendment achieves its central purpose by assuring that the federal government may not disarm individual citizens without some unusually strong justification consistent with the authority of the states to organize their own militias. That assurance in turn is provided through recognizing a right (admittedly of uncertain scope) on the part of individuals to possess and use firearms in the defense of themselves and their homes--not a right to hunt for game, quite clearly, and certainly not a right to employ firearms to commit aggressive acts against other persons--a right that directly limits action by Congress or by the Executive Branch and may well, in addition, be among the privileges or immunities of United States citizens protected by � 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment against state or local government action.
(Laurence H. Tribe, 1 American Constitutional Law 902 n.221 [3d ed. 2000] [emphasis added]. [Online references here and here.])

Even this anti-individual right law journal article finds, "As to the broader context of usage within the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, those documents use "the people" in both senses: sometimes collectively, sometimes individually." (Also see note 5 for further discussion, concluding, "In short, contrary to claims often made on both sides of the debate, the Second Amendment's reference to 'the people' does not, simply as a textual matter, commit us to either an individual or a collective right interpretation of the Amendment.")

Lastly, even the Supreme Court agrees on the meaning of "the people" as used in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

"The words 'people of the United States' and 'citizens' are synonymous terms, and mean the same thing. They both describe the political body who, according to our republican institutions, form the sovereignty, and who hold the power and conduct the Government through their representatives. They are what we familiarly call the 'sovereign people,' and every citizen is one of this people, and a constituent member of this sovereignty. The question before us is, whether the class of persons described in the plea in abatement compose a portion of this people, and are constituent members of this sovereignty? We think they are not, and that they are not included..." (Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 [1856])

And the dissent agrees:

"If we look into the Constitutions and State papers of that period, we find the inhabitants or people of these colonies, or the inhabitants of this State, or Commonwealth, employed to designate those whom we should now denominate citizens."

In Adamson v. California, 1947) the Supreme Court refers to the Bill of Rights as protecting individual rights:

"The reasoning that leads to those conclusions starts with the unquestioned premise that the Bill of Rights, when adopted, was for the protection of the individual against the federal government..."

And again the dissent agrees:

"The first 10 amendments were proposed and adopted largely because of fear that Government might unduly interfere with prized individual liberties."

More recently the Supreme Court comments on what "the people" may mean today and its distinction from "person:"

'[T]he people' seems to have been a term of art employed in select parts of the Constitution... While this textual exegesis is by no means conclusive, it suggests that 'the people' protected by the Fourth Amendment, and by the First and Second Amendments, and to whom rights and powers are reserved in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, refers to a class of persons who are part of a national community or who have otherwise developed sufficient connection with this country to be considered part of that community... (Excludable alien is not entitled to First Amendment rights, because "[h]e does not become one of the people to whom these things are secured by our Constitution by an attempt to enter forbidden by law"). The language of these Amendments contrasts with the words 'person' and 'accused' used in the Fifth and Sixth Amendments regulating procedure in criminal cases." (U.S. v. Verdugo-Urquidez, 494 U.S. 259 [1990])

Bob, you're on the money on most issues, but this one I totally disagree with you. Bob, by your reasoning that means that the right of "the people" in the remaining 9 ammendments of the Bill of Rights is also a collective right?
Why then does the tenth ammendment differentiate between the U.S. government, the State and "the people?" The tenth ammendment reads as follows: the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
I see people making arguments about self defense and hunting but they have nothing to do with the intent of the second ammendment. The second ammendment is there to protect the people from tyranny. Period. End of story. If the government has the right to limit your possesion of a fire arm, then why did the founders enumerate that right. People forget that the constitution is not a restraint on the people but a restraint on government. Historically, government has always been the enemy of freedom. The Bill of Rights does not give us our rights. Our rights come from "the creator." The Bill of Rights is a reminder to tyrants not to infringe on these rights. I hear the often repeated "freedom isn't free" mantra by many war supporters as a lame excuse to sacrifice our children at the altar of capitalism to fight wars of empire. There is truth to that saying. I believe Thomas Jefferson himself put it best: "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." On that we have failed miserably!
I don't buy your militia argument either. The second ammendment has been around since 1791. It was the Militia Act of 1903 that transformed the militia from individual state forces into a Reserve Component of the U.S. Army. "The people" were'nt very vigalant on that one.
Finally, this latest ruling was not a victory for gun rights as the media has portrayed it. The court ruled that there is an individual right, but there can be restrictions placed upon that right. Since "the people" have not been very vigilant, all kinds of anti second ammendment legislation has been passed. Most of it unconstitutional. Yet since it has not been challenged or has not been granted certiorari by the supreme court they have remained in effect under color of law. All this latest ruling did was give legitimacy to these color of law legislations.
Question: what does the constitution mean by the people? I am confused. I thought that the citizens of the United States were the people?

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Article I
Section. 2 The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.
The Bill of Rights
Amendment I.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Amendment II.
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.
Amendment IV.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Amendment XVII.
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.
When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct. This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

Look at the term “the peopleâ€￾ and the context it is used in looks like individual citizens make up and are “the peopleâ€￾

The shot about the Glock has me wondering.....just a friggin' auto.....Uzi/AK...thats another thing....but then again....used legally,whats wrong with an Uzi or AK?
Where's the sport in deer hunting with an automatic weapon?