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To begin, I hope that everyone had a happy and healthy holiday, and that you and yours are doing well.
During my travels over the past few weeks, I came across - and get this - a Real Estate Appraiser who presented an intriguing, and a bit unorthodox, means of addressing the issue of firearms while remaining within the bounds of the 2nd Amendment. This idea is his, with some addendum by myself, and thus I give most of the credit to him (I have not received permission to use his name).
To preface, let us first examine the 2nd Amendment, in the language presented to the several States for ratification and authenticated by Sec. of State Thomas Jefferson:
"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."
By this token, it is to be understood that the right to bear arms is necessary to a well-regulated militia. Now, for a more in-depth interpretation:
"Well regulated" can have two meanings applied in this sense: well trained and/or properly maintained. That is to say, a well regulated militia is a well trained and/or properly maintained army.
With this in mind, consider the following proposal:
Any American citizen holds the right to keep and bear arms, PROVIDED they 'report for duty'. That is to say, each citizen wishing to possess firearms must be classified as a member of the citizen militia. This classification does not mandate military service, but it does carry the requirement that members of the militia (a.k.a. owners of firearms) register their firearms, just as members of the armed forces do.
Furthermore, members of the militia must regularly be deemed 'fit for duty', in that citizens that possess a firearm must submit themselves for regular physical and psychological testing. Their ability to possess firearms will be contingent upon a positive evaluation of their physical and psychological health, and their being confirmed as law-abiding, responsible citizens.
A jumping off point, if anything. Any thoughts?
I've heard an arguement posited by Sam Weiss, one of our NYC gang, that we are all defined as being "in a militia", but I cannot repeat its logical underpinnings.
But why not organize local militias, i.e, neighborhood, town, etc, groups, like gun clubs and such, to do this and help ONE ANOTHER stay responsible? We sort of have one on our street, where the gun owners glibly call it the " X street defense group", but it's loose, we chum around, talk to each other before we sell a gun, etc.
Anyway, the thought crossed my mind recently as a mechanism to help fellow gun owners be more responsible to each other and society as whole.
Yet, the conundrum falls into definitions of fit and sane. The devil's detail right there to be sure.
AND, while it may have prevented Sandy Hook if the survival lady had been a member of a community based group, it would not have prevented the heinous crime in my old home town of Webster NY, where that dude ought not have had guns anyway.
So even organizing "citizens militias" isnt a cure all. But the concept intrigues me.
Lets see what others have to say.
Good discussion James Ryan!
When we look at the text of the Second Amendment, it is necessary to pay attention to how all terms are used within the entire Constitution to make sense of it.
A "well regulated militia, being necessary for the security of a free state" is a very special phrase. Everywhere in the Constitution where the United States is mentioned, it is referred to as either the "United States" or the "union." This amendment only refers to a free "state" and the "people'" and does not refer to the United States or the union at all. Therefore, the federal government has no authority or stake in this amendment.
What this amendment makes clear (at least, to me) is that each state is solely responsible for its internal security and the federal government is not responsible to provide any assets for that internal security. The minimum means available to the state shall be a citizenry armed as the citizens see fit ("the right of the people to keep and bear arms") .
The "shall not be infringed" clause means the federal government has no authority whatsoever to disapprove in any manner whatever internal security measures any state wants to establish on its own dime, including putting any restriction on the people as to kind, size or type of arms which can be kept or borne. It is extremely important that "arms" was never defined in the Constitution, and the "shall not be infringed" applies to any later federal defining of what "arms" can or cannot be.
As this amendment deals with free "state(s)" and the "people," there is a rebuttable presumption that states may have the authority to define what are "arms" within state borders. Personally, that's how I see it, but I can be persuaded otherwise. I'm a strong believer in states' rights and see this Amendment, and the Constitution in general, as an authority-limiting document as opposed to an authority-granting document. The Founding Fathers were predominately "state's rights" guys and wrote the Constitution (including the Bill of Rights) in a manner to insure that state sovereignty was recognized and immortalized.
That brings us back to what the United States is. Some see it as a single nation with subordinate states (the "Pledge of Allegiance" approach) and others see it as how the Constitution defines it - a union of free states (similar to NATO, the United Nations or even the former Confederate States of America) where certain common activities/needs have been delegated to a central entity as a matter of economy and plurality, but state sovereignty is not compromised.
We seem to forget that each state is indeed a sovereign state and its legal status verifies that fact. Once in a while that fact is made strongly obvious. When Texas told the United Nations and Mexico that Texas would not commute the death sentence given to a Mexican national convicted of murder in Texas - despite strong vocal and'political pressure by the US President and Secretary of State who argued that Texas was interfering with federal authority regarding foreign policy - Texas was exercising its right as a sovereign state (BTW, the murderer was executed!).
There's a lot of talk going around about militias and armies and such, and they are radically different. From a state standpoint, militia can be a multitude of things, including National Guard units, state police/troopers, sheriff's patrols, citizen auxiliaries or any combination which has available any of a state's citizenry and whatever arms the citizenry may possess. Think in terms of a "deputized posse" made up of whomever is available and self-equipped. That's a lot different than the United States army and navy as called for and authorized in Article One, Section 8. While some folk may see "militia" as only being the National Guard, that is not the case, since the National Guard finds itself under a dual-commander position (the Governor when operating within the State and the President as Commander-in-Chief during federal call-up), thus the Governor can indeed designate any security force within his jurisdiction as "militia."
In summary, the Second Amendment does not appear to grant any authority to the federal government, but exclaims the authority retained by the state(s). So, any federal restriction on the people regarding arms of any kind needs to hang its Constutitional hat on some provision other than the Second Amendment.
OK, Here we go.
James, there is a specific Law regarding exactly what the Militia in the Unted States is.
And Gene you nailed it, I can explain the logical underpinning pretty easily. It is a law passed by Congress.
10 USC § 311 - Militia: composition and classes
(a)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.
(b)The classes of the militia are—
(1)the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2)the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.
I think the only fundamental change we need to this law is to make it gender neutral. All able-bodied adults at least 17 years of age and under 45 years old.
Hear Hear on gender neutral! Off topic, but hear tell of a 1970's era Navy report indicating female innately possses better hand/eye coordination than males, in a general statistical way. I've taught more than one young girl how to shoot; they take to it really easy. Do seem to be natural instinctive shooters.
I would vote to change the MWP 2nd Amendment platform to include this "tweak". Very logical, and there is an assumed implicit acceptance in taking that point.
Hear that Duffy, this ol "red" is trying to mint Annie Oakleys! :) Frankly, we are obviously entering an age where being so open about one's love of shooting sports and "nomenclature" is likey bad for one's reputation. Un-American it would seem. Michjael Moore thinks I'm a low IQ boor. Well IQ aint Mensa, but boor...? Boy.....
Anyway, thank you for the clarification.
So I posit here ; what of training our public militia, literally. I can see how the NRA and its paymasters ( arms manufactuers, not my $20) can actually be coerced to go some public good, rather than put slashes through our Commander-in Chief on the cover of American Rifleman. Which I found quite offensive. Truly.
I am going a pen a letter to Mr. LaPierre, either with my $20 annual or without ( where i lean now) and tell him so. Bad, bad form in this Whig's opinion. My "whig zen-see" says its an institutional or bureaucratic answer that is all too prevalent today; if we dig in harder and become more absolute, we further secure the future of our organization in many ways, which ensures MY job security. ( like in parties and many ((all?)) political orgs)
Thinking out loud, I would also like to secure the future of that org, but in a more CMP way, where they actually respect the Commander-in-Chief,( truly a pet peeve of mine) espouse why the firearm is so central to THIS country's indentity ( and not many others) , how anything that can keep you free, can also be used to ENSLAVE you, and to assist in providing training and "fun shooting" opportunities to whomever is interested.
( CMP = civilian marksmanship program - maybe the inital "milita" training idea).
We can take their money tree and maybe use it for a public good, other than the outright defense of the 2nd, by promoting reponsibile behavior to manage it. To this simpleton, THAT is the sustainable solution to forever guard the 2nd.
Like it or not, pro or con, we are FASCINATED with firearms. And there is good reason to be. Like it or not. And like it or not, familiarity will mitigate that, and allow us to honor both our heritage AND the good+bad potential of the firearm.
Makes you either a free man, or it can be used by the slave master to enslave. Or it can be used to take away our personal physical freedom by eliminating our general sense of security by fellow citizens ( or foreign terrorists on our soil).
I personally would have no issue with a national firearms card, akin to my New York carry permit. First step to confiscation you say? Well, the registries almost exist already. So, going back to co-opting the NRA in a new way....Is it even thinkable to contract out with someone like the NRA, public-private partnership as a check, to provide the registry physically with right of permit denial by both DOJ and the most local LEO agency?
It would seem based on Steve's Constitutional interpretation, the ol BATF or DOJ is PROHIBITED from doing so! And that would to fit my sense of the spirit of the Document.
So ought we discuss a public-private partnership for registry pusposes? Keeping it within the spirit of the Constitution, but still having some form of national standards we can all live with? (this is actually the "random idea" i was going to bring to Wayne's attention in my letter - with the conditional that if done right it could be the most sustainable safeguard of the 2nd, while still giving his org, and paymasters, a mission and critical role in perpetuity )
Simply throwing things out there that have crossed my mind as potential place to build common ground. Float em' or shoot em down, or take a piece of my mind and build another potential solution with yours. That what we're supposed to be doing as citizens! Its not about our egos or personal moral beliefs, its about compromise and balance in managing our freedoms and our Republic. Intelligent collaboration guided by ethics.
Dont much matter to me if I am considered a 'crazy Yanqui' rebel as we need this more than anything else .....>
Compromise and balance in managing our freedoms and our Republic.
sorry for the novella -- I have been mulling this issue for far too long.....
in short, to reiterate, I would vote to change wording of MWP position statement to include broadening the definition of militia..
which takes us back to James Ryan's introductory point " fit for duty" with potentially a "platoon formation" once in a while! Man, I'm still wannbe Army, I like it!
Want to consider a couple of your points a little deeper. I do take the "contra" position on a national firearms card, mainly because that would require federal standards, data base, probable levels of carry and who knows what else. The state CCW licensing system keeps everything where it should be if there is to be governmental control at all - at the state level. Even with differnces in various licnsing criteria, states have no problem providing reciprocity for drivers licenses, demonstrating no need for a national drivers kicense. There's already considerable reciprocity in CCW recognition among the states (although far from universal), but there's a lot more of it now than 20 years ago.
Given time, the states can do a lot without federal "help" and the resulting loss of state control once the fed gets involves. Besides, the fed would need a tremendously larger BATF to enforce nationla licensing, and then every crime ; nvolving a firearm(since one included charge the fed could make would be failure to adhere to license restrictions - with ot without violence) would fall under federal jurisdiction for federal prosecution or investigation takeover. Most state LEOs and prosecutors I know are rarely pleased to have their federal colleagues declare that a matter is now "federal" and the locals can now just turn over their files and get out of the way, and that,s a very real probability here.
So, from my perspective, it would be better to politic State Secretaries of State to negotiate reciprocity agreements (not that hard to put in place) and keep any/all licensing at the state level, rather than have BATF or any other federal agency get involved in what will end up as a local matter anyway. We don't need the federal government to be involved in local matters at all - leave the sovereign states alone to handle what s an internal control/enforcement matter.
Indeed, my NYS carry permit alowed me to obtain a NH permit which is reciprocal in many states. State database maybe sufficient then, as long as its part of a nationwide network, which we citizens can encourage to keep the Feds off our backs where they rightfully do not belong. Yet, registration guidelines are not standardized and there would have to be some work there.
Is anyone backing such an intiative? Would think tis "too far" for the NRA to stretch.
Steve, et al, what of the concept that James Ryan ( by proxy) brings up concerning "fit for duty".
Does my Doc sign off on that? The local "sheriff"? Or Both? Can see how a "citizens committee" could be troublesome. Borderline mental health issues can be "fuzzy".
In my home state (Florida) there is reciprocity with 35 states not counting Vermont (which doesn't issue CCW licenses - all citizens can so carry). The other states/territories/districts (where there seem be the most criminal gun violence) have historically been ultra-gun-control (to no avail).
"Fit for duty" means what? Is it the military 111111 physical profile standard? Is it the FBI agent physical standard? Is it the Mayberry PD Barney Fife standard? Who defines it? It all depends on the anticipated tasks to be performed. We're not talking police-patrol or infantry fire team (remember "B man, move out - B man, cover me" ?) stuff, nor should we. I'm not sure we need to get into micro-defining what a local sheriff , police chief or regional LEO commander may want as standards for various levels of auxiliary entities over which s/he would have jurisdiction. At the political "macro" level any such standards would have to be very objective, otherwise a lot of expensive litigation for abuse-of-discretion will occur. Besides, I'm not sure many of today's young'ns could physically keep up, shoot as straight, and be wise enough to know when not to shoot than any of the folks who ride with me every week (most of whom are a decade-plus older than me and I'm pushing 70!).
So, I don't have a problem with "fit for duty," but see it requiring recognition that "duty" covers a very wide spectrum of activities, to include sitting and waiting in air-conditioned comfort for the criminal coming sneaking through a window. "Fit for duty" is more about having the wisdom to know what to do and when to do it, with the ability to do it according to the involved environment. Being part of an auxiliary participating in a foot chase through a 2,000 acre swamp behind a bloodhound is one thing, as opposed to being part of an auxiliary manning a desk at a recreation center or aid station.
As silly as it may sound, "duty" requires determination of renumeration as well as liablity issues which need to be considered.
I'm not trying to sound like the old curmudgeon who dislikes everything. Far from it. "Devil's advocating" is just something I'm pretty good at doing. It's important to examine such concepts not only from what may make common sense, but what legal challenges are obvious to them and the potential for the concepts to be chewed up in court. It would seem prudent for any political party to want to propose concepts which won't end up in the courtroom trash bin or ripped apart by other political parties for a variety of solid reasons.
The overall idea still sounds like a decent one, with the refinement of it involving the effort of other interested minds willing to invest the effort, so that a party platform plank which can draw left-of-center and right-of-center to it, and does not require a Constitutional amendment to implement, will result. It may sound like a lot of work ( and is!), but as Duffy indicated in another post, other political parties will tear it apart if there are any holes that they can exploit.
One thing that all of these various "gun control" concepts keep ignoring - all gun control restrictions only restrict the law-abiding folk. Scofflaws could care less what laws are on the books and what punishments/penalties/fines apply. The gun-related violent crime rates in DC, Chicago, Baltimore, Los Angeles and NYC (as examples of locations with highly stringent gun laws) demonstrate that retrictive gun possession/carry laws only penalize the law-abiding, as the scofflaws have always found and will always find a way to acquire the "tools of their trade" and show no unwillingness to use them.
The irony is we keep talking about gun control as if that alone will make mankind secure and/or the population weapons-free. Whenever the government-in-power confiscated the people's current-technology weapons, ingenious folk devised replacement weapons made from both everyday items and new inventions. Howver, during the transition between then-technology weapons (that only the government was supposed to have but scofflaws did, too) and new types of personal weapons, the government (dictatorial regimes) and scofflaws had a field day feasting on the general public. A classic example of public response to government weapons control was development of several of the Oriental martial arts which devised weaponry uses for common farming implements.
Gun control and the free market system are already supportive bedfellows. (Except where specifically outlawed) Pepper sprays, stun guns of all shapes/sizes, hand-held crossbows, knives, saps, sharp screwdivers, corkscrews and a host of other such interesting items are big sellers - and these are "old technology" items - as the public refuses to be totally defenseless before aggressors, even when there remains a tremendous mismatch in public-aggressor weapons' efficiency. The "anything is better than nothing" philosophy has been a market driver.
So, we can believe that more restrictions on firearms will make governments more citizen-centric, scofflaws more law-abiding and people so much more trusting and respectful of each other that protection devices of any kind will no longer be desired or necessary. However, as a species we're a long way from being so mentally stable and same-thinking to where "I'd like to teach the world to sing" will become the planetary anthem.
When we have found a way to eliminate scofflaw-ism from society so that folk won't feel the need exists to protect themslves, their loved ones and homes gun control will just "happen" on its own. Until then, aren't we just looking for new ways to hamstring the law-abiding in the desperate hope than maybe/possibly/please-make-it-true some scoffaw somewhere may be inconvenienced enough to not do harm? Hasn't that same philosophy worked well to stop DUI's ?
The above isn't some right-wing gun-nut view. For a gun control concept to be successful, the law-abiding public will need to be truly convinced that aggressors will not be better armed than the law-abiding public.
Good thoughts right there...!
I'd possibly pass the Barney Fife criteria myself. And likely not the FBI criteria as I seemed to have failed their entrance exam. Yet have had a concealed carry permit since I was 16 years old - 1977 w/o incident. So empirically, the Fife Rule is good! ;)
Seriously though, another aspect of of is that I sense that many of my fellow citizens dont put the burden of safety on themselves like others do. Some dont look for the sheriff to protect us 24/7, that's our job ultimately. Yet I sense that the self-reliant are being outnumbered politically by those who relinquish personal reponsibility for their direct safety to others.
At some level of course, at greater distances fom our bodies, others are ultimately responsible for our security. But here I speak strictly to the security of our our corpus, and of those we alone are directly responsible for.
EDIT: 09JAN13 1231
JamesRyan! There are only a few of us commenting or "mind trusting" here seeking common ground, and maybe you could ask your RE friend to stop by, see where we've taken the original thought ( or your derivative of it) and redirect us if required!?
And as always MWP encourages more minds to "jump in". Jumpmaster says JUMP IN! :) ( a ne'er jumpd :( nasty leg myself..)
Just sent him an e-mail; we'll see if he's interested in "entering the arena", so to speak.
I'd join in as well, but I'm still in the moving process, writing a book, writing articles for a new small-time writing job (I'll introduce it as soon as all my contract negotiations go through), and exploring local office possibilities in Santa Barbara County (will introduce that soon, too).
As you were, ladies and gentlemen.
That's one of the most common-sense, active, and well thought out approachs to truly help manage the huge responsibility of owning firearms. If people see it as a "hassle" then how important is a human life? ...how about 20 children? I served 20yrs in the active duty military until forced to medically retire after getting messed up in Iraq. If ANYONE understands the trust endowed to people who are given firearms, people in the military who have seen combat do. I've long abandoned the ideology of 'criminals will always be able to get guns' for a justification to have them.
I STRONGLY support ANY initiative that emphasizes the responsibility someone has of owning a gun. In the right (or wrong) hands we've seen they are potential weapons of mass destruction, chaos, and terror. A potential gun owner shouldn't have to ask for a training class, they should be required! Furthermore, although developing a lose militia to meet the mandate of the amendment, I feel SOME if not more in-depth background check be done to include a possible medical and psychological background clearance be considered.
Again, I like the idea proposed because it emphasizes the overwhelming maturity, integrity, stability, and responsibility of firearm owners. In essence, I see it much like the military. Gun owners (me!) should be allowed to take the initiative to protect our rights for the right reason, NOT because is some passing interest or fancy of anyone who wants one. Do we give a blind person a drivers license? The DMV has grown to be a huge system to govern motor vehicle operators. There's always a way we can develope a control system within the community of firearm owners, not just the government, to oversee their safe and responsible issuance. My big 'key word' for all handguns & policy is 'responsibility'
MSgt (ret) Jeff Kat
Jeff, thank you for your service.
You see, part of modern Whig philosphy, call it 21st century public policy, is that policy ought be written with reciprocal effects included as primary objectives - more responsibility here in this case. Personal responsibility being the most generous of social goods, as it makes for much less intrusive and expensive government. It may also be considered a modern Whig thought that government ought be in the business of facilitating personal responsibility, as well as citizens reponsibility to each other, to shape much less "dependent" social welfare and social justice programs. If government only brings dependence on it to the table, then it takes on the symbolic role of slave master. Much more balance is required, but not in the typical way discussed by today's parties. We need bold new solutions yet to be engineered.
This is why we might see things like the new law being implemented here in NY as flawed. Background checks and a national database with data integrity guaranteed would be helpful and ought be considered to be added to our formal MWP position. Yet controlling the "nomenclature" is still suspect, although seemingly backed by a strong percentage of the public. Part of that I beleive, is that no other credible solutions have been tried. So, a more balnced approach may have been to leave the "nomeclature" regs alone, and simply broaden the background check network and introduce some mental health component. NY got some of it right.
CA has long been pointed to as model of the netowrk sharing with the Feds, yet, many folks believe their laws are too restrictive. Clearly an acceptible balance has not been struck, and states will be excersizing as much flexibility as their needs warrant within Constitutional boundaries.
Class action lawsuits declaring the new NY law unConstitutional are already being drawn up. And while it does not effect my thoughts as an MWP officer, I personally have a commemorative edition M4 lower receiver that is supposed to ship from the west, and now I wonder if it'll ever get to NY and if I'll be felonious for the first time in my life, becuase the "king" said so! Just "aint" right to the yanqui rebel in my soul.
Jeff, I can understand your points, but there a couple points of concern.
First, the DMV analogy is not a match. In legal jargon having a drivers license is a privilege, not a right. The government can control privileges/benefits all it wants, but Constitutional rights are another matter altogether.
Second, there's a lot more at stake than gun ownership. Once any Constitutional right is allowed to be taken in any way, shape or manner from the people by the government via statute, regulation or plain apathy, then the rest are sure to eventually follow. If the Second Amendment can be "regulated" by whim, outcry, fear or "gee, it just makes sense to..." then will freedom-of-religion under the First Amndment be next? Since there is an unspoken uneasiness that Islamic radicals may cause us harm, shall we demand that the fed require that all folk who are Muslims be required to be registered as such? After all, it's for our protection from "them" who have done harm to keep track of them.
Or how about the Fourth Amendmeñt's search-and-seizure protection rights? It is technologically possible to "read" a computer hard drive remotely, so if a person's home computer is connected to the Internet , for our protection from potential criminals and terrorists, it may be in our best interest to give a blind eye towards the requirement for a search warrant issued by a judge/magistrate based on probable cause and limited to a specific scope and just let government investigators have unrestricted access to our tap into our home computers whenever they want or feel the need to do so. After all, it's for our safety.
Or how about the Sixth Amendment's access-to-counsel rights? When folk " lawyer-up'" it makes it so much harder, time-consuming and costly for government investigators/prosecutors to obtain confessions from obviously guilty folk (and isn't that almost everyone who is arrested or interrogated?) . Why should investigations be stymied simply because folk want to first discuss their situation with a lawyer who is only going to come up with some technicality to justice from being done? After all, it's so good people will be protected.
That's the problem! It's that old "slippery slope" story. Once you let any Constitutional right of the people (and the States!) for whatever the "good reasons" are, be eroded by statute/regulation/order, we become exactly like the lands our ancestors fled - and fled because of their lack of rights.
If folk really want to have "gun control" of any kind, scope, limit or even totally ban private ownership of firearms, fine! Then follow the law and seek a Constitutional Amendment which repeals the Second Amendment and then contains whatever restrictions you want within the new Amendment. If folk really want it, it's not hard to do. Liquor sales went and came back that way. New Amendments came into effect in 1951, 1961, 1964, 1967 (3 in the '60s alone!), 1971 and 1992. It's not hard/when folk really are passionate about something and there is consensus.
I'm not anti- gun control. I just want any change to follow-the-law, and since we're dealing with a Constitutional right and not a Congressionally-granted privilege/benefit, then that means amending the Constitution. If it's so damned important to folk, then why not do it right instead of half-@$$#& - or are folk just too darned lazy to do it rght?
I think I will have to agree with Steve....and Kipling.
Pay attention to the message, because like much of Kipling, it is still valid.
The Gods of the Copybook Headings
As I pass through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.
We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.
We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place;
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.
With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.
When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.“
On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “The Wages of Sin is Death.”
In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”
Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four—
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.
As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man—
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began:—
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;
And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will bum,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!
Thanks SteveZ and Gene,
I'm new to this site and steadily learning about the MWP. I find it intriguing and more common sense toward resolving many issues. I fully agree in following the law and that changes should be made if they do, in fact, need to be. It seems far too radical to repeal or change (I.e, take away a right!) a constitutional amendment that was put in place for a good reason. I didn't mean my 'DMV' statement as an organization that should monitor gun ownership, it's just an example of a 'mostly successful' government institution to regulate safe and responsible operators of cars, which in fact kill an astounding number of people a year.
I will stand for my beliefs ...which I feel I can finally do after retiring from the military. Along those lines - it's amazing to realize how I was entrusted with so much firepower AND delegate huge responsibility to 18 year old people (men AND women!) who took rational, non- retribututional action against "the other side" unless our lives were in danger. They could not only rationally judge without distorted emotions when our people were killed on a daily basis, but also be the first to reach out a helping hand to save lives - often to the guys who just shot at us! To me, THAT is the American Spirit: to endure, make better decisions, and reach out with a kind hand to those that need it. I wish the NRA could propogate a more positive message to it's adversaries and be behind a feasible solution.
Thank you for great discussion and feedback. I'm learning and willing to be wrong about anything - that's how I learned to change after the military. I enjoy learning about the Whig party and what's at its core belief structure. I like the idea of making everyone's voice heard. I often told my troops to "not whine about something unless you can come to me with a workable solution". That seems to be the common sense of your party. Again, Thank You ...not only for your feedback, but not ridiculing me for my lack of knowledge and experience in many areas! Have a great day:-)
MSgt (Retired) Jeff Kat
Jeff, you are, as we are, re-learning what Whigs were about and how to behave like a modern Whig - with a critical and open mind, showing respect to fellow citizens, especially if they disagree and carrying ourselves with Honor that not only reflects back on us, but also on our Nation as a whole.
Duffy, you poet-warrior you! Thank you for the enjoyable read.
Again, here in NY the Gov , who was exhibiting some "Whigginess" couldnt help hisself and jumped into "I wannbe Pres" mode - seriously, and got political with the gun control legislation. The nomenclature ban only satisfies the utopian liberals, whom he'll be asking for support in 2016. And he damn well knows that.
Credit to the mental health aspect of the NY bill, alhtough devil is in implementation. And again, as odd as it may sound, people will not be willing to give their firearms to the cops for safekeeping as some of the local LEO jurisdictions have a bad habit of "losing" them. This is documented and not imagination or heresay. ( Erie County Sherrifs specifically) This Whig still thinks that private "gun vaults" would have been much smarter and more effective.
But the Gov was more intersted in looking very Progessive and beating President Obama to the punch. It overrode careful thought, and precluded ANY [public discussion.
Oh, and BTW, if I had a few M4/ARs to give to my sons, the new law does not allow me to. ???? Sorry, but I find that utterly UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
No novel ideas like we've been speaking to here.
King Andrew ( Gov Cuomo) has made me a felon. Go figure. From "beyond any form of temptation and embodying a unique skill set" to a felon with one stroke of the pen. Yet, I am the same man. Who has never crossed a legal line and served my country with distinction.
Capricious? Legal? Yes and no.
Steve, a repeal of the 2nd Amendment would require Uncle Sam disarm his adventursome self to keep checks and balances in place. He is the baby killer we ought be concerned with - but thats too "far out there" for most folks to grapple with. Some might call me "unpatriotic" even though I am only living a deep oath I took years ago.
Not to mention that we all know fellow citizens that beleive it is their DUTY and not simply a right, to maintain armed self-defense.
Thank GOD for American REBELS!
Repealing and/or installing an Amendment is the citizenry's right at any time. No phrase/clause within the US Constitution is sacrosanct, and the ability to amend the Constitution is the correct way to deal with any Constitutional provision that gives current society angst. It's a lot better than legislatures writing statutes which are intentionally flawed but pander to certain special interests, or courts trying to clarify flawed/vague laws, or the executive writing reguations which are more concerned with politics and power-grabbing.
The Second Amendment is only 27 words long, but has generated millions of words to supposedly clarify it via legislation, regulations, executive orders and federal court decisions. The result of all this clarification is a dog's breakfast of frustration, aggrevation, confusion, conflict and public division.
Perhaps it is high time to replace the Second Amendment with a new Amendment, one which provides much clearer direction regarding what type of arms the citizenry can possess, any limitation as to whom within the citizenry is ineligible to possess arms, what regulatory authority regarding the interstate commerce in arms shall vest with the federal government, and especially who (federal or state) shall be the authority regarding individual licensing and arms registration.
There is nothing wrong with such a Constitutional revision. It surely has to be better than the grandstanding, opinion manipulation, fear-mongering and special interest selfishness that has taken grasp of this issue. Hitting the Constitutional "reset" button may be the only sane way out. It's obvious that any federal legislation/regulation/order is going to challenged in all federal court districts and subsequent appellate courts, and this will just rise to more conflicting court decisions and more overall confusion and public division.
Okay, I see a large flaw in one aspect of this. The statement UNDER 45 Years of age sticks in my craw. I am 72, fit, a veteran of the US Navy and elegible for a concealed carry permit. My understanding though is the way you see it I would not be elegible to own a fire arm as I would be considered to old.
This is my first time at this site and there are a lot of concepts that I agree to here, but I do take offense at having served my country in the past but because I am now over the age of 45 I am not allowed to defend myself or my country should the need arise. What say any other folks that are not youngsters anymore.
I agree with Fredmp,
The age limit will have to be considered if we stick along those lines of thought. I am 52 and very capable of stewarding and using a firearm, as I am sure Fred is. (insert sarcastic Navy comment here :) )
Fred and Gunny.
I am not for sure where anyone said you would be prohibited from owning a weapon, but in fact, you are not eligible to be members of the unorganized Militia.
That is because you are veterans and are thus a part of the Organized Militia.
32 USC § 313 - Appointments and enlistments: age limitations
(a)To be eligible for original enlistment in the National Guard, a person must be at least 17 years of age and under 45, or under 64 years of age and a former member of the Regular Army, Regular Navy, Regular Air Force, or Regular Marine Corps. To be eligible for reenlistment, a person must be under 64 years of age.
(b)To be eligible for appointment as an officer of the National Guard, a person must—
(1)be a citizen of the United States; and
(2)be at least 18 years of age and under 64.
So Gunny, you have 12 years left until you are off the Hook.
And hey Fred, just lie about your age and say your 18, it has worked before.
When we look at the wording, and everything about the syntax and context was well thought out, the phrasing of the words to differentiate between the militia, and the people, and clearly stating that the right to bear arms is not the state's, nor the militia's, but the people's right, should make it very clear that this is a necessary part of our government, because we are a government based on the rights of the people. There has to be a way for the PEOPLE to have a way of defending themselves against a situation where the government was in control of all arms, and every unit of civil defense, this means that a community based group would be a very good idea, providing it's independence of government influence.
And as far as I can tell, this is the ONLY place that the community -based groups were even mentioned ; which tells us that the main debate is the same tired old paradigm - nothing new.
A little innovation and competition would sure help the Republic some. Not to mention policies that 'rifleshot' to the heart of personal responsibility ( they NEVER deal with that anymore - the SLAVEMASTER that is Uncle Sam that is ) This same ol scheiss different day thing has got to stop.
form MY persepctive, as regards school and public shootings, it would seem that the 2nd would require us to try everything else FIRST and only get to infringements of the 2nd when nothing else has worked. Butt, nooooo.......
Nothing really works at all in the unimaginative dysfunction that is the American ruling class, except the class' own sustainability.
and We The People sticking to the same worn out old talking points - pretending to think, but not really thinking, that is.
always remember, the sky is NOT your limit - it should be your HOME! Which is why I like JR's post here so much - out of the box is where we belong.
This is a big thread I might be mentioning things others have already covered but in the 2008 SCOTUS decision of District of Columbia v. Heller specifically addressed that the 2nd amendment is a right of the individual and not some however nebulously or rigorously defined collective of a "militia." So there's no need to mince words about what is or isn't a militia because SCOTUS solved that issue.
I will say that what the framers considered to be "a militia" can be summed up by this quote:
"I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
--- George Mason, Co-author of the Second Amendment during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788.
It was understood that instead of a standing army, like we have today, the general population of able-bodied persons (then it would have only been men) were "the militia."
The 2nd amendment, however, does provide the provision that this militia be well-regulated. The regulation of this militia is where we can begin to discuss "gun control" which is, in this way of thinking, synonymous with "militia regulation."
Personally I think there are good ideas that could be enacted federally, many of which are currently in practice in several states and municipalities, such as required gun safety and marksmanship training. I personally don't think firearms should be required to be registered, but instead of banning "assault rifles" and high capacity magazines, which I don't think is constitutional, these should be registered. In fact I think any weapon should be available to a civilian given the proper registration and licensure -- Fully-automatic weapons are de facto banned for civilians but if you jump through the right amount of hoops you can get one legally, AFAIK.
But we do have a standing army today and we do have a national guard, so I'm not sure what the solution really is. I don't think the solution is banning guns that function the same as other rifles but look scarier, and I don't think the answer is mass registration or some ominous national database of mentally ill people. The only thing that would do is keep someone who wants to be able to own a gun from seeking the mental health care they need and further stigmatize people who suffer from bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder and depression -- the disorders that account for the vast majority of mental illness and I don't think it would do anything to stop psychopathic spree killers tend to be very clever, charismatic and can fool well trained psychologists/psychiatrists.
Basically, all the proposals coming from the Democrats are bad ideas IMO, and the only thing I've heard from the GOP is an echo of the NRA's equally bad armed-guards-in-every-school proposal. We don't need snipers on the roofs of our elementary schools we simply need to do away with "gun free zones" and allow people, if they are entrusted by their state to have a concealed carry permit, carry their weapon on them wherever they go.