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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. Arguments
One of the more absurd arguments against the collective view is that what the Constitution and in particular states was not what the founders intended. Ok? Then why was it there as written? This was to be the cornerstone of our country, the most important document they would ever work on and they got it wrong? Please
The second argument is that few of the founders agreed with it and they cite numerous qoutes to support their position. The logic of this argument is similar to the first. One of their main sources is Jefferson who was not even present at the ratification or signing. True there are some statements by Jefferson that seem to oppose the collectivist view. but as a whole I prefer to believe what he told his wife in a letter written while he was in Philadephia during the Continental Congress. He stated in this letter than some of his fellow delegates were in favor of a federal army once freedom was obtained. Jefferson wrote that such an idea was beyond the realm of human understanding considering what the country was going through at that time. He finished the letter by saying he would oppose such a concept with every effort of his body. In short he believed that USA should hold to the concept of the militia that was already in existence during the war.

4. Post Constitutional History.

A. Individual ownership of guns - From the time the British held sway over this country and for the next 100+ years gun regulation in this country was based primarily on the already existing European model. The variant was the citizens in the frontier. In towns and cities east of the Apalachains it was illegal to own or display personal firearms except in very specific cases. In 1790 it cost you $5 in Philadephia if you were caught with a firearm on your person. Remember $5 was alot of money then. The idea that individuals not having guns in the cities or towns was accepted generally with the populace. They saw the laws as prudent. Remember here that all abled bodied men between 18 and 45 were expected to be part of the militia and so its was their patriotic duty to have guns for training and defense as part of that militia.
This idea held true for more than 100 years. Even many of the frontier towns during our expansion west had laws prohibiting personal weapons within the city or town limits.
The caviot was always the farms and settlers from Colonial to Frontier times. Jefferson and Madison saw the need to guns in these circumstances as did almost all of the population.
Even up until WWI such laws against personal display and in some cases ownership of weapons was commonplace in urban areas. it was not until the end of WWI that this tide slowly began to change.

B. Militia - From the Colonial days until well after the Civil War our country held to the idea of a small federal military supported by the various militias of the states. For example at the beginning of the Civil War there were only 17,000 regular federals in the armed forces for a country numbering some 40 million. Even during the Civil War most of the troops on both sides were militia or state volunteers. As such those persons eligible for service had their own guns but for the prescribed reasons outlined in the Constitution.
In the late 1880's and early 1890's the federal government began to incorporate state militias into the federal armed forces but these troops remained in their home states and trained as such. An example of this would be my home states 32nd Infantry Division which until late in WWII was comprised of over 80% Wisconsinites. This changed dramatically during the Korean and Viet Nam wars.
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