Guns-A Constitutional Right?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by B_mitchymo, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. B_mitchymo

    B_mitchymo New Member

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    As a non-american i have absolutely no idea about the constitution so my question is as the title suggests.

    Is it in the constitution?.....Can it be changed? Are you for or against guns?
     
  2. Bbucko

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    The constitution of the US is actually a very brief document, written after the failure of the Articles of Confederation, an earlier attempt.

    It was written by a small, elite cadre of intellectuals led by James Madison, who served as President during the War of 1812.

    It was felt that, in order for the constitution to grow and evolve with time, there needed to be a system of emendation. The first ten amendments are called The Bill of Rights and are considered the cornerstone of our republic's ongoing success.

    The second amendment is quite specific:

    There have been discussions over what, exactly constitutes a "well-regulated Militia", but overall the 2nd amendment is really clear. Only after freedom of the press and freedom for free exercise of religion (the first amendment) was the essential right to own firearms protected by the Founding Fathers.

    I'll admit that it took me a while to figure this one out; personally I'd never own a firearm. But it's essential to American freedom that we honor the second amendment and its principles of self-defense and greater self-determination.
     
  3. kalipygian

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    Second amendment: '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'

    It has been upheld by the courts, including the supreme court, as a personal right.

    In some areas, some types of weapons have been restricted. There are also supposed to be background checks.
     
  4. B_mitchymo

    B_mitchymo New Member

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    Can amendments not be changed or omitted? Does having this right mean anything of value?
     
  5. D_Fiona_Farvel

    D_Fiona_Farvel Account Disabled

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    The Constitution and Bill of Rights are sacred to many in the U.S. - items can be reinterpreted or amended, but the basic framework stays the same.

    No one that believes in their 2nd amendment rights would give up their guns, as a result, legislation and court rulings reflect that reality and uphold the right.
     
  6. Principessa

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    Yes, it is in the constitution. Theoretically . . . yes it can be changed via an amendment. However I don't see that happening any time soon. I am for guns . . .within reason. I see no reason for the average citizen to own an assault rifle, flame thrower, or machine gun. I am for guns. I don't currently own one; but there is a range near my house and I'm thinking about going and taking shooting lessons. :cool:

    The radical right-wing conservatives have been stocking up on guns and bullets since November because they fear Pres. Obama will repeal the 2nd Amendment. I don't think he is stupid enough to do this as it would likely cause a civil war.
     
  7. thadjock

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    u keep poking ur stick into this hornets nest don't u mitchy

    I'm a gun owner and believe that the 2nd amendment protects a personal right to own guns, something obama supports as well, despite what most right wing NRA nutballs would tell u.

    at the same time i don't believe it would be best for the public good to have the entire populace armed 24/7, so i think what we have now is about the best balance you could hope for, given that repealing or modifying the 2nd amendment in ANY way is about as likely as james dobson opening a chain of drive through abortion clinics.

    Kali is right, federally we have the 2nd amendment , but there are hundreds of state and local statutes that regulate the sale, registration, acquisition as well as carry permits for guns. politically an assault weapons ban is probably the most explosive gun issue, even though law enforcement wants some form of it nation wide.
     
  8. thadjock

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    no, just that it's the way we won our independence from u fuking brits and your kings opressive rule.

    without a militia and individuals owning guns we never would have been able to kill enuff redcoats to send your limey asses packing. I think that whole ordeal was pretty fresh in the minds of the people who wrote the constitution & bill of rights.

    i guess the revolutionary war isn't celebrated there quite the same way it is here :eek:
     
  9. D_Fiona_Farvel

    D_Fiona_Farvel Account Disabled

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    Paid holidays and BBQ? :confused: :biggrin1:
     
  10. B_mitchymo

    B_mitchymo New Member

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    how do you mean? I cant remember having commented or made a post on this before but i dont rule that out lol

    just trying to understand you americans better thats all
     
  11. B_mitchymo

    B_mitchymo New Member

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    You've kind of hit upon my point.....it was relevant then....but now?....Its at the point where last year a report came on the news about a highschool shooting and it was like 'oh...again?' and then one in Finland that had a wholly different response...it was a bigger ordeal.

    I dont understand why the masses having the right to own a gun is a good thing
     
  12. D_Fiona_Farvel

    D_Fiona_Farvel Account Disabled

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    *sigh* I hate reading this, as Obama simply doesn't have the authority.
    Plus, all amendments have to be ratified by a majority of the states in the union.

    It is a fundamental right in the U.S., it works for us in the U.S., in Finland, or wherever else, they can decide what works for their country.

    More importantly, if there were no guns, people would still find a way to kill each other. Doesn't the UK have ridiculously high knife violence among youths? Take away knives, are forks next? Spoons?
     
  13. thadjock

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    maybe you should ask mexico how their gun policy is working out,

    they ban all individual gun ownership, and yet drug lords have no problem getting guns to slaughter their competitors and policemen like cattle. their entire country is on the verge of a total societal breakdown.
     
  14. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Whoa, whoa, whoa.....

    Any article in the Constitution can be amended and it happens not all that infrequently. There are 27 amendments, 16 adopted after 1791 and the last in 1992. We could, if we wanted, erase any of the original Bill of Rights (the first through tenth amendments).

    The Bill of Rights is indeed the cornerstone of the American political system. Americans don't mind screwing with some of the more obscure articles, but anything that goes near the Bill of Rights causes immediate uproar. That doesn't mean it can't be changed, however.

    To amend the constitution, two thirds of the entirety of Congress must pass the proposed amendment AND three quarters of the legislatures of the states must ratify the amendment.

    This is how it's usually done but it is not the only way. The Constitution states that if two thirds of the states want a Constitutional convention to convene, they can ask Congress to do so. This method has never been used and it is not certain if Congress is compelled to act by this request or not.

    The other way to amend the Constitution is to have three quarters of all states approve a change in the Constitution on their own without Congressional approval. Oddly enough, the state legislatures are not part of this process. The people of the states themselves, or the state governments sponsor, amendment conventions to present their resolutions which are then adopted by the states themselves. This method has been used only once and that was for the repeal of Prohibition.

    Both of these last two methods demonstrate the sovereignty of the states as a joint entity outside of the federal government itself. This was done in case the federal government should become so corrupt or despotic that the states could essentially erase and recreate it as necessary. Remember that the people writing the Constitution had just come out of a revolution where there was no trust in any ultimate state authority.
     
  15. B_mitchymo

    B_mitchymo New Member

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    people are not knifed down on a regular basis and the victims are usually others that carry them....its not innocent peopl being killed en mass
     
  16. D_Fiona_Farvel

    D_Fiona_Farvel Account Disabled

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    This isn't true. Rather, gun policy (what is it, btw?) isn't the real issue.
    Mexico's government, like most of LatAm, is centrally located in El D.F. - the reason drug cartels are powerful is because Mexico didn't govern the areas where they began, built cartel armies, and created cartel funded communities.

    Now they have to fight to retake these cartel enclaves - had to happen sooner or later - doesn't mean there's a "societal breakdown".
     
  17. Principessa

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  18. thadjock

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    my point was: banning guns doesn't stop gun violence.
     
  19. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    It's a good thing if your mother country decides to restrict your freedoms, imperil your commerce, deny you the right to worship, the right to trial by jury, the right to intercolonial trade, and tax you silly without any parliamentary representation. Ahem.

    When the Bill of Rights was written, militia was extremely necessary given what communication was in the day. The militias were the backbone of public security. If France declared war on England, the colonies might not have known about it until France landed in New York. If there were Indian uprisings or raids, the militias were the first to respond. There was no time or ability to notify any central government. Infrastructure in this country, outside of river travel, was hideously slow and difficult. If immediate response to a perceived threat was necessary, the militias were the only response.

    Americans also deeply resented having a standing army on their soil. Even today, America maintains a relatively small defense force that is largely kept isolated from the rest of the public. The Bill of Rights even includes an amendment that prevents the military from commandeering private property or forcing people to quarter troops. Many of the soldiers who landed in the colonies with red coats weren't even British. Lots were mercenaries, including the much-hated Hessians, and they had no qualms about treating non-combatants with as much cruelty as they could muster.

    When the Bill of Rights was written, there was no certainty that the UK wouldn't try to take back the colonies again. Preventing just that scenario was of utmost importance and there was a genuine fear that some state governments might harbor loyalist sympathies and create laws, such as stripping citizens of their guns, as a way to make British invasion much easier.

    Maybe above all this, was the overriding idea that the people had to remain sovereign above any government or person. The founding fathers had just come out of a revolution, the French king had just lost his head, Voltaire was the brilliant mind of the age, and the Enlightenment was in full swing. The founding fathers, uniquely in the world, ceded final power not to a government, but to the people themselves. In the end, an American is obligated to no one but him or herself. If we wish to do away with our government and live in Bartertown, we can do so. If there is any credo in American political philosophy, it's never trust government. Because of this, private citizens owning and keeping guns, not the government, is the final guarantor of American sovereignty.

    It must also be pointed out that guns are very handy when you live in the US. We have rabies, varmints and livestock threats, lots of places to hunt, and sometimes live so far from law enforcement that response can take hours. Guns are part of daily life for many people and use them as they use any other tools. In places where gun ownership is very high, crime is usually very low.
     
  20. Penis Aficionado

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    I've never understood the gut reactions of liberals and Europeans on this issue.

    To me it makes perfect sense that a society becomes more peaceful as gun ownership becomes more common.

    In a society where you can safely assume that any given individual is not armed, it seems inevitable that those who simply take what they want, and those who feel they have nothing to lose, will prey upon those who follow the rules.

    I admit that in America guns often get into the hands of people who lack the mental and emotional capacity to handle them responsibly. But I think those people are far fewer in number than those who would become predatory, in a completely disarmed society.

    This all seems like just basic understanding of human nature to me.
     
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