I heard one ruling/interpretation from MBtGE. That the militia component of the Second Amendment can be interpreted as “when this federal gov’t is formed, there will be militias, as there are now (heck the US might have a standing army of some size some day, this is only 1789) but we have militias now just as we had before we wrote this Constitution thingy. And because of that, we Founding Fathers know all about how militias and such can tyrannize. So BECAUSE of that, the people’s right to keep and bear weapons that can oppose a tyrannical government and it’s armed forces should never be compromised.” Such an argument has a ring of truth, but I don’t think it is the be all/end all. My Buddy that was explaining this to me was also saying we deny rights all the time in this country for good reason. If you are a prisoner in a penitentiary you are stripped of your second amendment rights, but you still have a right to a speedy trial from a jury of your peers. True. And, also, we are also constantly denying 1st Amendment rights. You don’t shout ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater. The gov’t won’t let you show hardcore pr0n for an after-school special on broadcast TV. We do strip prisoners of basic rights of freedom and liberty and sometime life itself, in reaction to THEIR trangrssion on others rights. (Think about what every guilty prisoner done to get where he is? Violated someone else rights. But he doesn't forfiet ALL his rights while in jail, just many of them.)
It’s an interesting take. I’m not sure if I swallow it, wholly. What I do know is that individual people have rights. Groups do not have rights. So-called group rights are a sham. Yes numbers of individuals can conglomerate together and have similar interests, but no rights can confer on the group. Any injury to the group that is a rights violation is covered by each individual’s right. Seeing the 2nd Amendment as a group right is an abomination and those that hold to that view are ignorant, stupid, intellectually lazy/apathetic, perhaps well-intentioned people with severe tunnel vision unable to see any glimmer of unintended consequences their policies hold, or have unspoken evil designs to visit on their fellow citizens
My personal thoughts about the rights enumerated in the Constitution are a bit different. Those rights are just written down so there is no confusion, and the government can't cotemplate violating them witout serious consequences. Simple and easy to understand, or so you’d think. Leave it to busy-bodies and lawyers to torture any meaning out of anything to their own ends. It’s because of these people that defenders of liberty have to be so vigilant in defending our civil rights. But I digress. The right enumerated in the Bill of Rights and subsequent Amendments all harken back to basic human rights first codified by a young United States in the Declaration of Independence. Those are listed as, for starters (and it essentially says, “for starters”), the right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Thoughts in documents at the time often equate ‘pursuit of happiness’ as ‘property, plus other stuff’. So human RIGHTS are distilled down to these three. And really they can be reduced further to just a right to life [Now don’t confuse this with the abortion argument. I’m not going down that rabbit hole as it is out of scope to this blog, though I admit that some of their arguments certainly harken back to the Declaration of Independence]. You have a right to life. If anyone denies you this right you die, clearly. In order to live you need to acquire food, so you need the liberty to attain it. Without this liberty, you are denied your right to life. You need shelter to live, clothes to protect yourself from the elements, you need to own your food – it has to by YOURS, not someone else's that they can take away when they want; you need PROPERTY. Without property you are denied your right to life. Your existence would be nigh meaningless if you just subsisted with your food shelter and clothes and your life would have no purpose and you might as well be dead, so you have a right to pursue your own happiness. Note: You can pursue happiness, but you aren’t guaranteed happiness. If you are denied a right to pursue happiness you are denied your right to life. Everything hinges on your right to live. No one can deny this right. If someone does, or attempts to deny, you your right to live, then that is a justified reason to deny THEM of their rights. You can defend yourself from someone attempting to deny you your rights in a proportionate manner. That is why we imprison people for a set time for theft of property, but we are more severe with people that kill others unjustifiably. But if someone wants to control your property or take it all from you outright, make no mistake… they then have control over your life and can take THAT from you at a whim. That is the big reason I hold the collectivist tyrannies of the 20th Century in such disdain, as their sole purpose is to take or control your property, and thus your life. No one can deny you your life unjustifiably. The only justifiable means to deny life or lesser things that lead to sustaining life is if you deny another’s life or lesser thing (property, liberty, pursuit of happiness). You can’t take from one to give to others just because a majority voted you to do so. This keeps a majority from voting to pee in the breakfast cereal of the minority. It's why the United States is not a Democracy, but a Federalist system. While no one can deny you your rights you are responsible for securing your property or you have to rely on someone sharing theirs with you.
How does the 2nd Amendment dovetail into my thoughts on this one basic Right to Life or Right to Live (again, not the abortion kind in this scenario)? It recognizes your right to defend yourself against individuals looking to compromise your rights, and it allows you to defend yourself against tyrannical governments that might also be attempting to compromise your rights. Foreign and Domestic. The amendment has nothing to do with hunting though it doesn’t preclude hunting. And when you hunt for food that certainly impacts your life or death from starvation, so hunting gets a ride in there on the 2nd anyway. Hunting is a joyful serndipitous consequence of the 2nd. But you certainly can’t argue in support of the 2nd Amendment only from the Hunting angle, or other sport angle. It is not central to the amendments meeting and is too easy to argue against it.
I do hope that someday the thought of violating the 2nd Amendment is as far from any petty tyrant gov’t official’s mind as the thought of violating the 3rd Amendment, where the gov’t is precluded from housing soldiers in private citizen’s homes without the owner’s permission.
I do know the Second Amendment is what makes all the other Amendments possible, and the concept predates Independence in English Common Law. English Common Law is much more explicit about the purpose, and that’s the keep the King from becoming a tyrant. The Founders knew this. And the Constitution was only ratified because of the inclusion of the Bill of Rights. If you repeal any one of the first 10 Amendments you are asking for trouble, as that could nullify the rest of the Constitution. The 16th and the 17th could use repealing, and that wouldn’t upset the apple cart, and I'd like to see that.
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