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Gun Rights in the U.S. 
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Post Gun Rights in the U.S.
I've seen guns mentioned elsewhere here but can't find a thread on the topic. I'll start one.

The United States constitution contains perhaps the strongest gun rights measure ever put into a governing document. The Second Amendment to the constitution reads, "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."

The Second Amendment doesn't limit the people's right to own guns; it places limits on the government's ability to prohibit guns.

The Founding Fathers had just fought a war of independence against a tyrannical government, and they wanted to ensure that Americans would always have the means to defend against the return of tyranny. So in our Bill of Rights they reminded us that we can keep and bear arms. Not only that, they said that this is a right which flows from God. God-given rights can be surrendered by men, but never taken by man.

Unfortunately, since the ratification of the constitution and the Bill of Rights, our government has made some aggressive attempts to strip us of our right to keep and bear arms. The timeline below gives a history of anti-gun legislation.

Timeline of Gun Control in the United States
thoughtco.com/us-gun-control-timeline-3 ... ne-3963620

The first gun control laws were passed in the South, to prevent newly-freed slaves from owning guns. More laws were passed at the state and federal levels over the decades, but then in 2008 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in D.C. vs Heller that the "Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home."

So, as long as the firearm you possess is used for lawful purposes, you're good.


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Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:00 pm
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Post Re: Gun Rights in the U.S.
What types of arms are acceptable for the government to ban?


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Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:16 am
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Post Re: Gun Rights in the U.S.
No rights are totally unrestricted. We could list restrictions on free speech. Similarly, there are limits on rights to bear arms. Felons cannot own guns. Why not, they probably have more need of them for self defense against other ex-felons than the average citizen. Why can't your neighbor who is a Muslim and a citizen buy rocket propelled grenades or a shoulder launched anti-aircraft missile? He wants them just for the joy of shooting them. If I'm wealthy enough, why can't I buy an AC130U "spooky" gunship? I want one - it sounds like a hell of a lot of fun and obviously I am not going to hurt anyone! Second amendment rights already have restrictions, yet few want to discuss the existing limits and the reasons for them, while enthusiasts just want to rail against all new restrictions.

One major problem with discussions of the 2nd amendment is the contemporary misunderstanding of militias. If you read the constitution, militias are set up by the Congress, not groups of people, and are called out by Congress only "to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions." The 2nd amendment was set up to support that type of militia, which is the opposite of the current misunderstanding of the role of militias.



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Sat Aug 24, 2019 7:52 pm
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Post Re: Gun Rights in the U.S.
Outlawing a specific type of weapon, such as assault-style rifles, is consistent with the current banning of sawed-off shotguns. The right to own and use firearms is not denied by either. You have to emphasize the right, which is very minimally "infringed" by the society's determination that specific technologies are not in the best interests of the country. In the case of assault weapons, the public's right to safety trumps any loss of choice by gun owners. As Landroid said, rights are rarely absolute. Laws banning handguns have probably been rightly challenged and overturned. Handguns are a much broader category of firearm, the banning of which does seem to raise Second Amendment questions. Laws to regulate handguns, different story.



Last edited by DWill on Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:27 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:01 am
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Post Re: Gun Rights in the U.S.
Prior to the second amendment, there was nothing in the new world to convey a right to bear arms, We at the time, post revolutionary war, were no longer part of the British kingdom .The crown conveyed the right to an individual to possess offensive weapons. We were a burgeoning republic, the second amendment merely conveys a “right” that was typically conveyed by the monarch of a country or the pope. The word “regulated” is blatant in the second amendment, only a idiotic person could think that gun control is unconstitutional. In absolute fact,the greater tyranny to a free people is the creepy notion that anyone of an age can just acquire deadly weapons in relative secrecy. I’ll add that hoarding of weapons and ammunition, was never the intent of the”founders” thinking and any ideas to the contrary is a perversion of the second amendment. The idea that the second amendment was put into the bill of rights to prevent tyranny from the government is likewise foolish and idiotic. The constitution is setup as a system of checks and balances, tyranny from the federal government is not possible in the U.S.



Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:52 am
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Post Re: Gun Rights in the U.S.
A recent letter to the editor stated that the only way out of the 2nd Amendment quandary is to repeal the amendment and replace it with something having the clarity that the original lacks, and to make it clear that firearms can be regulated within a framework of gun rights. That's not gonna happen, of course. But what a hornets' nest the writers of that sentence created.

I tend to agree with you that the 2nd Amendment wasn't motivated by fears that the new American government might turn tyrannical. It seems reasonable to some that with the revolution still a recent memory, the Americans would be thinking of the tyranny (such as it was) of their former colonial masters, and would hold tyranny to still be possible despite the safeguards of the Constitution. But "the security of a free state" doesn't doesn't convey such a fear of tyranny in my mind. Also, of course, the power to organize militias was granted by the Constitution to the government itself. Militias didn't refer to spontaneous efforts of citizens to resist oppressors.

I've always assumed that the people's right to bear arms was important in the context of militias because arms were mostly privately held, rather than held by government bodies.



Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:27 am
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Post Re: Gun Rights in the U.S.
"...the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

That's pretty clear. Passing a law that denies the right to keep and bear arms is an infringement.

And to drive the point home, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Marbury v Madison (1803), ruled that a law repugnant to the Constitution is void:

"...Thus, the particular phraseology of the Constitution of the United States confirms and strengthens the principle, supposed to be essential to all written Constitutions, that a law repugnant to the Constitution is void, and that courts, as well as other departments, are bound by that instrument."

So, the government has no right to legislate against the right to keep and bear arms.

As far as our rights coming from God, that sentiment is made clear in the Declaration of Independence. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and pursuit of Happiness...." The Declaration and the Constitution are essentially one document. The first lays out the case for forming a new government, and the second outlines the shape of the government. The rights mentioned in the constitution had already been called "unalienable" in the Declaration. "Alienable," then and now, means "transferable to another owner." The rights described in the constitution come from the Creator and are UNalienable--not transferable. Government cannot deprive us of our God-given rights. And I made a mistake earlier in saying that we can give away our rights. We cannot give away rights that are unalienable (not transferable). We are stuck with the right to bear arms, like it or not.


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Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:04 pm
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Post Re: Gun Rights in the U.S.
The Declaration doesn't say that owning firearms constitutes one of these inalienable rights. Just because the wording is "among them," you can't conclude that at the time Jefferson composed the document he would have listed gun rights had he continued to cite examples.

So you think that the law banning machine guns in private hands is unconstitutional? Gun control opponents like to cite the Court's Heller case, in which the justices ruled that gun ownership is an individual right, not a collective one, according to the intent of the Constitution. The same Court supporters would rather ignore another part of Heller, that there is no conflict between the Second Amendment and common-sense gun laws.



Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:59 pm
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Post Re: Gun Rights in the U.S.
The Declaration of Independence talks about Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. That covers MILLIONS of rights that we are born with. The right to keep and bear arms is one of them. Sorry, but you're a natural-born gun owner.

And the law banning machine guns is unconstitutional. It is "repugnant to the constitution" (see Marbury v Madison above). We have tens of thousands of unconstitutional federal laws. The legal system has been corrupted.


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Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:47 pm
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Post Re: Gun Rights in the U.S.
Thou shalt have thine right to own guns once they are invented over two thousand and 500 years henceforth.
Leviticus 28:17


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Mon Sep 02, 2019 2:33 pm
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Post Re: Gun Rights in the U.S.
KindaSkolarly wrote:
The Declaration of Independence talks about Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. That covers MILLIONS of rights that we are born with. The right to keep and bear arms is one of them. Sorry, but you're a natural-born gun owner.

The Declaration does talk about those aspirations, but your contention that Jefferson here clairvoyantly encodes the Second Amendment of 1791 is odd, I have to say. "Life, liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" are obviously general and open to broad interpretation. One could cite all three as a justification to place some limits on the weapons citizens may own and use.

If you're talking about Constitutional/unConstitutional, the Declaration isn't relevant, anyway. It hasn't been seen as part of U.S. law.
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And the law banning machine guns is unconstitutional. It is "repugnant to the constitution" (see Marbury v Madison above).

The Supreme Court gets it wrong, then, in your view, by declaring there is nothing unconstitutional about banning machine guns. But Chief Justice Marshall got it right in 1803 when he established judicial review? In doing so, he said only that the court could decide whether or not a law was "repugnant to the Constitution." The Court has decided that gun laws are not necessarily repugnant, while upholding the right to bear arms.
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We have tens of thousands of unconstitutional federal laws. The legal system has been corrupted.

Do you mean that simply by virtue of being federal laws they are unconstitutional? That is one argument people make, but doesn't the Constitution leave the matter of what may be the federal govt's purview fairly open?



Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:47 am
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