- Capitalism and Alternatives -

the splunge tank

Posted by: Gee ( si ) on June 03, 1999 at 20:30:25:

In Reply to: Splunge. posted by Red Deathy on June 03, 1999 at 16:38:06:

: Defend who from whom?

You from the one initiating violence upon you.

: Remember, the US constitution does not actually garauntee teh right to own weapons, it garauntees the right to join a local militia to protect the community from oppression. A thing some folks tend to forget, I'd go quote the *full* article, but can't be bothered...

The actual wording "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. " does refer to arms, guns are arms as are swords and bows.

Neither is the interpretation that the right refers only to the joining militias an accurate interpetation. A Professor Roy Copperud was asked by another writer to uncover its meaning in english language, without regard to current political climate or personal beliefs, as the professor was in favor of gun control. (Incase you wonder who he is here follows the appeal to authority; he's deceased now but was on the usage panel of the American Heritage Dictionary, and Merriam Webster's Usage Dictionary frequently cites him as an expert. Copperud's fifth book on usage, "American Usage and Style: The Consensus," has been in continuous print from Van Nostrand Reinhold since 1981, and is the winner of the Association of American Publisher's Humanities Award, regardless of who he was his analysis is what counts)

His conclusions are re-printed below, and I personally found them fascinating (hence this topic)

"[Copperud:] "The words 'A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state,' contrary to the interpretation cited in your letter of July 26, 1991, constitutes a present participle, rather than a clause. It is used as an adjective, modifying 'militia,' which is followed by the main clause of the sentence (subject 'the right', verb 'shall'). The to keep and bear arms is asserted as an essential for maintaining a militia.

"In reply to your numbered questions:

[Schulman:] "(1) Can the sentence be interpreted to grant the right to keep and bear arms solely to 'a well-regulated militia'?"

[Copperud:] "(1) The sentence does not restrict the right to keep and bear arms, nor does it state or imply possession of the
right elsewhere or by others than the people; it simply makes a positive statement with respect to a right of the people."

[Schulman:] "(2) Is 'the right of the people to keep and bear arms' granted by the words of the Second Amendment, or does
the Second Amendment assume a preexisting right of the people to keep and bear arms, and merely state that such right 'shall not be infringed'?"

[Copperud:] "(2) The right is not granted by the amendment; its existence is assumed. The thrust of the sentence is that the right shall be preserved inviolate for the sake of ensuring a militia."

[Schulman:] "(3) Is the right of the people to keep and bear arms conditioned upon whether or not a well regulated militia, is, in fact necessary to the security of a free State, and if that condition is not existing, is the statement 'the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed' null and void?"

[Copperud:] "(3) No such condition is expressed or implied. The right to keep and bear arms is not said by the amendment to depend on the existence of a militia. No condition is stated or implied as to the relation of the right to keep and bear arms and to the necessity of a well-regulated militia as a requisite to the security of a free state. The right to keep and bear arms is deemed unconditional by the entire sentence."

[Schulman:] "(4) Does the clause 'A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,' grant a right to the government to place conditions on the 'right of the people to keep and bear arms,' or is such right deemed unconditional by the meaning of the entire sentence?"

[Copperud:] "(4) The right is assumed to exist and to be unconditional, as previously stated. It is invoked here specifically for the sake of the militia."

[Schulman:] "(5) Which of the following does the phrase 'well-regulated militia' mean: 'well-equipped', 'well-organized,'
'well-drilled,' 'well-educated,' or 'subject to regulations of a superior authority'?"

[Copperud:] "(5) The phrase means 'subject to regulations of a superior authority;' this accords with the desire of the writers for civilian control over the military."

[Schulman:] "(6) (If at all possible, I would ask you to take account the changed meanings of words, or usage, since that
sentence was written 200 years ago, but not take into account historical interpretations of the intents of the authors, unless those issues can be clearly separated."

[Copperud:] "To the best of my knowledge, there has been no change in the meaning of words or in usage that would affect the meaning of the amendment. If it were written today, it might be put: "Since a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged.'

[Schulman:] "As a 'scientific control' on this analysis, I would also appreciate it if you could compare your analysis of the text of the Second Amendment to the following sentence,

"A well-schooled electorate, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and read Books,
shall not be infringed.'

"My questions for the usage analysis of this sentence would be,

"(1) Is the grammatical structure and usage of this sentence and the way the words modify each other, identical to the Second Amendment's sentence?; and

"(2) Could this sentence be interpreted to restrict 'the right of the people to keep and read Books' _only_ to 'a well-educated electorate' -- for example, registered voters with a high-school diploma?"

[Copperud:] "(1) Your 'scientific control' sentence precisely parallels the amendment in grammatical structure.

"(2) There is nothing in your sentence that either indicates or implies the possibility of a restricted interpretation."

Professor Copperud had only one additional comment, which he placed in his cover letter: "With well-known human curiosity, I made some speculative efforts to decide how the material might be used, but was unable to reach any conclusion."

: Some Socialists have a long history of wanting to Arm the working class, but thats usually only a stop gap measure for recolution. Personally, I think its pointless.

That history was another reason I asked.

: Only under a profit driven system, i would posit that under socialism we'd decide that manufacturing guns and weapons is a gargantuan waste of resources, and would stop making them, making their ownership or not a non issue, no bugger has guns.

I disagree, i think personal and communal security, even under a 'stateless socialist' society would still be of sufficient value to sufficient people than the production of arms would occur. This would be especially true in the first few decades, where people will not automatically perceive themselves as free from the violent threat of others. If after several decades of peace and extremely minimal crime people produce very few arms I would understand that.

: should be to create a society which eliminates most forms of crime (and I think socialism would do that) leaving only crimes of passion, social personal grievences, and pretty much anything can be turned into a weapon (I am a member of the campiagn against Snoooker-Balls in Socks).

Which is no reason to deny members of said community the right to make and use the means to self defence, snooker balls, swords or guns. I re-iterate that world socialism, if it is to happen at all, cannot wait for every person to volunteer - and even if 90% do (which I find extremely unlikely) the need for self defence would still exist.

: Basically, I think there will be no need for Guns, at all. I'd be glad to see the back of them- their defensive value is largely illusory anyhow...

You would have to explain that.

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