• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every person's position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

The real 2nd amendment

Before I begin I am going to say I have never done this before so please excuse any screw ups.
Next, this post will be long. I may cut it up into sections depending on how long I drone on. I intend on covering a lot of ground.

1. Colonial History

Starting in the late 1760's Great Britain began exhorting her authority over the colonies by various means. Remember at that time, colonists although British citizens could not vote and were not represented in Parliment. They could not sell bulk goods inside the colonies but had to send them to England for which they recieved only a fraction of the sale price.

At the end of the French and Indian Wars England was practically bankrupt and needed revenue which they thought they could get from taxing the colonies. As the taxes increased on all items including everyday things the colonists became resentful and by the 1770's the colonies were a powerkeg waiting to explode.

It was at this time that England started sending more troops to the Colonies to try and calm things down. It failed because the British military machine went rogue. Soldiers could be quartered in private homes without recompense, people could be tried by a mock military court (drum trials) and sentenced to various terms including death. ANYONE who even whispered or was thought to have whispered anything against, the crown, the government or the military could be siezed and sent to England or a prision ship for a long time. The last two things were violations of English law which applied to the colonies.

An important thing to remember is the English law forbade citizens from owning guns. Although in the hinterland this was widely ignored it was still an offense and was the reason for Lexington and Concord. (Siezure of powder and Shot)

This was the atmosphere that all colonist lived in under British rule in the years before the Revolution. In 1775 the whole thing blew up and we would be at war for the next 6+ years.

2. The Constitution

What is a constitution in the political sense? Webster defines is as 7. the system of fundamental laws and principles of a government, state, society etc is organized. No where does it refer to a Constitution as a document that promotes the rights of an individual.
As anyone who has ever written a theme or a news article knows your present your main point in your openning comment. That is exactly what James Madison did. "We the people of the United States in order to form a more perfect union establlish justice insure domestic tranquility provide for the common defense promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America". This statement is obviously collective in its measure and tone. It involves the whole of the nation as one entity. As far as I can see the individual is not raised above the collective but inferred and addressed as part of it.
IF the intention of the founders in particlular Madison who wrote much of it was opposite then why did 11 of the 13 states ratify it and their congressal representatives sign it?
The majority of the Constitution follows this theme as one would expect. Little or no evidence in the body of the Constitution is found for Individual rights over that of the collective. Again if this last statement is inaccurate why did the founders and thier representative states allow the language to remain?

3. Amendment

What is an amendment? Again Webster refers to it as 3 " in legislative or delliberative proceedings, a revision or change proposed or made in a bill, motion or law."
So the original amendments (12) known as the Bill of Rights were not stand alone articles but changes or revisons (modifications) to specific points within the Constitution.
Focusing only on the 2nd Amendment. What parts of the Constitution did it change or modify?
First we must understand one thing. It was the intention of the founders based on letters from Madison and Jefferson (who was then in Pairs) and others that the military of the United States be small and comprised of a small core of professional soldiers suppported by the various militias of the states. These militias would be citizen soldiers similar to what Switzerland had and has today.
This inference can be seen in the wording of the appropriate part of the Constitution.
So what did the 2nd change or modify? Article I, Section 8 clause 15 " To provide for the calling forth of the militia, to execute the laws of the United States, suppress insurrection and repel invasion." No where in this statement does it say that any of these tasks are the responsibity of the individual but of the collective (read Militia).
Article I, Section 8, clause 16 "To provide for organizing, arming adn disciplining the militia and for governing such a part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively the appointment of officers andd the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress."
This is probably the main focus of the 2nd and again does not mention that the individual has ANY rights to defend or protect the statess or the federal governent EXCEPT as part of the collective (read Militia). This is also the only place in the final draft where any mention is made as to the size of the Federal military force.
Article II section 2 clause 1 refers to the ability of the US government to call up the militia as needed.

The individualists take the 2nd as a stand alone article which is contrary to the meaning of Amendment as I have shown.
The second amendment "to establish a well regulated militia for the security of a free state the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed".
Simply refers to the arming of the state militia (citizen soldiers) as prescribed in the Constitution above. Therefore it is a collectivist statement.

3. Post Constitututional History
 
Top Bottom