- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist Party, UK ) on June 04, 1999 at 00:49:08:

In Reply to: the splunge tank posted by Gee on June 03, 1999 at 20:30:25:

: You from the one initiating violence upon you.


: 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.

It doesn't say the right to own, but the right to bear- basically, you have the right to join your town Militia. i.e. no class of people in the American Republic were to be excluded from teh Army (not an army, they were hesitant and reluctant to have standing armies). It doesn't mean every individual may have more weapons than you can shake a stick at- technically Nuclear Weapons are arms, do you ahve a right to bear nuclear weapons?

: "[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.

But not own...it no where says own- If I may cite the example of Swiss Citizenship....Here, have you Steyr-Aug Assualt Rifle, look after it.
: "In reply to your numbered questions:

: [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."

Thats rubbish, thye bit about the militia is a clear subjunctive, and qualification- it explains why the arms are to be kept.

"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.'

I agree with that interpretation, but think it conflicts with the above paragraph.

Essentially, it means that people can join the militia, and should look after their own weapons, it does not mean that people have the right per se to possess as opposed to look after as many lethal objects as they wish. The point about books could easilly be interpretaed as the right to access a Library, for example, not necessarilly to have the books at home, in fact it wuld be a justification for state owned libraries.

The Problem with such close readings of texts is that it assumes that meaning solely resides within the words, rather that in the perlocutionary force/pragmatics of the statement, for a full understanding we'd have to look at reams and reams of drafters comments and early interpretations.

:If after several decades of peace and extremely minimal crime people produce very few arms I would understand that.

I concurr, that is the aim.

: You would have to explain that.

Well for one thing, it doesn't allow you to defend yourself, it assumes you know the attacker is coming, that you can reach your weapon, and can use it, it also neglects that your attacker has equal access to similar weaponry, and so could just as likely have a gun- so the odds on self defence are the same.

Personally, I think it would be fully within the US constitution to ban Guns, but legalise carrying Swords- I've never yet heard of a drive by stabbing wounding ten people..... ;)

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