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some context for you

Posted by: Gee on June 07, 1999 at 15:34:46:

In Reply to: Back to Aha-! posted by Red Deathy on June 05, 1999 at 11:38:00:

You earlier suggested the historical context to the meaning of the second amendment would prove usefel. ive provided some.

Remember that the definition of militia as that of the citizen soldier, and also that the final clause that uses the verbiage of the "..right of the people..", is the same application of the "the people as used in the First, Fourth Ninth, and Tenth Amendments.

The application of the First Amendment applies to an individual's right to free speech. The Fourth Amendment secures the
individual against unreasonable searches and seizures of property by the government. If the Second Amendment were to be construed as a collective right, then it logically follows that only corporations or collective bodies (such as political parties) would have a right to free speech, and would be free from unreasonable search and seizures.

Also note that the Virginia bill of rights was very influential in the US bill of rights - Article 13 of the Virginia Bill of Rights states: "That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that, in all cases, the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power." The idea presupposes a natural right for the citizens to keep and bear arms.

The original language of the Second Amendment as proposed by Madison, read: "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed, and well-regulated militia being the best security to a free country: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms, shall be compelled to render military service in person."

Its also interesting to consider the various articles in the state pre-union; ALABAMA: "That every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state." Ala. Const. art. I, S 26. ARIZONA: "The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself or the State shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain, or employ an armed body of men." Ariz. Const. art. 2, S 26. DELAWARE: "A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and State, and for hunting and recreational use." Del. Const. art. I, S 20.

Thought you might want to see the context.

Follow Ups:

  • Collective. Red Deathy Socialist Party UK June 08 1999 (2)
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