9 Things You Didn’t Know About the Second Amendment

9 Things You Didn’t Know About the Second Amendment

1. The Second Amendment codifies a pre-existing right

The Constitution doesn’t grant or create rights; it recognizes and protects rights that inherently exist. This is why the Founders used the word “unalienable” previously in the Declaration of Independence; these rights cannot be created or taken away. In D.C. v. Heller, the Supreme Court said the Second Amendment “codified a pre-existing right. The very text of the Second Amendment implicitly recognizes the pre-existence of the right and declares only that it “shall not be infringed … this is not a right granted by the Constitution” (p. 19).

2. The Second Amendment protects individual, not collective rights

The use of the word “militia” has created some confusion in modern times, because we don’t understand the language as it was used at the time the Constitution was written. However, the Supreme Court states in context, “it was clearly an individual right” (p. 20). The operative clause of the Second Amendment is “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” which is used three times in the Bill of Rights. The Court explains that “All three of these instances unambiguously refer to individual rights, not ‘collective’ rights, or rights that may be exercised only through participation in some corporate body” (p. 5), adding “nowhere else in the Constitution does a ‘right’ attributed to “the people” refer to anything other than an individual right” (p. 6).

3. Every citizen is the militia

To further clarify regarding the use of the word “militia,” the court states “the ordinary definition of the militia as all able-bodied men” (p. 23). Today we would say it is all citizens, not necessarily just men. The Court explains: “’Keep arms’ was simply a common way of referring to possessing arms, for militiamen and everyone else” (p. 9). Since the militia is all of us, it doesn’t mean “only carrying a weapon in an organized military unit” (p. 11-12). “It was clearly an individual right, having nothing whatever to do with service in a militia” (p. 20).

4. Personal self-defense is the primary purpose of the Second Amendment

We often hear politicians talk about their strong commitment to the Second Amendment while simultaneously mentioning hunting. Although hunting is a legitimate purpose for firearms, it isn’t the primary purpose for the Second Amendment. The Court states “the core lawful purpose [is] self-defense” (p. 58), explaining the Founders “understood the right to enable individuals to defend themselves … the ‘right of self-preservation’ as permitting a citizen to ‘repe[l] force by force’ when ‘the intervention of society in his behalf, may be too late to prevent an injury’ (p.21). They conclude “the inherent right of self-defense has been central to the Second Amendment right” (p.56).

5. There is no interest-balancing approach to the Second Amendment

 Interest-balancing means we balance a right with other interests. The court notes that we don’t interpret rights this way stating “we know of no other enumerated constitutional right whose core protection has been subjected to a freestanding “interest-balancing” approach. The very enumeration of the right takes out of the hands of government the power to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the right is really worth insisting upon. A constitutional guarantee subject to future judges’ assessments of its usefulness is no constitutional guarantee at all” (p.62-63). This doesn’t mean that it is unlimited, the same as all rights (more on that below). However, the court states that even though gun violence is a problem to be taken seriously, “the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table” (p.64).

6. The Second Amendment exists to prevent tyranny

 You’ve probably heard this. It’s listed because this is one of those things about the Second Amendment that many people think is made up. In truth, this is not made up. The Court explains that in order to keep the nation free (“security of a free state”), then the people need arms: “When the able-bodied men of a nation are trained in arms and organized, they are better able to resist tyranny” (p.24-25). The Court states that the Founders noted “that history showed that the way tyrants had eliminated a militia consisting of all the able bodied men was not by banning the militia but simply by taking away the people’s arms, enabling a select militia or standing army to suppress political opponents” (p. 25). At the time of ratification, there was real fear that government could become oppressive: “during the 1788 ratification debates, the fear that the federal government would disarm the people in order to impose rule through a standing army or select militia was pervasive” (p.25). The response to that concern was to codify the citizens’ militia right to arms in the Constitution (p. 26).

7. The Second Amendment was also meant as a provision to repel a foreign army invasion

You may find this one comical, but it’s in there. The court notes one of many reasons for the militia to ensure a free state was “it is useful in repelling invasions” (p.24). This provision, like tyranny, isn’t an everyday occurring use of the right; more like a once-in-a-century (if that) kind of provision. A popular myth from World War II holds Isoroku Yamamoto, commander-in-chief of the Imperial Japanese navy allegedly said “You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.” Although there is no evidence of him saying this, there was concern that Japan might invade during WWII. Japan did invade Alaska, which was a U.S. territory at the time, and even today on the West Coast there are still gun embankments from the era (now mostly parks). The fact is that there are over 310 million firearms in the United States as of 2009, making a foreign invasion success less likely (that, and the U.S. military is arguably the strongest in the world).

8. The Second Amendment protects weapons “in common use at the time”

The right to keep and bear arms isn’t unlimited: “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited” (p. 54). The Court upheld restrictions like the prohibition of arms by felons and the mentally ill, and carrying in certain prohibited places like schools and courthouses. What is protected are weapons “in common use of the time” (p.55). This doesn’t mean weapons in common use “at that time,” meaning the 18th Century. The Court said the idea that it would is “frivolous” and that “the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding” (p.8). The Court’s criteria includes weapons in popular widespread use “that [are] overwhelmingly chosen by American society” (p. 56), and “the most popular weapon chosen by Americans” (p. 58).

9. The Second Amendment might require full-blown military arms to fulfill the original intent

 The Court didn’t rule specifically on this in D.C. v. Heller, but noting that weapon technology has drastically changed (mentioning modern day bombers and tanks), they stated “the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment’s ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty. It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large” (p. 55).
 They further added that “the fact that modern developments [in modern weaponry] have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right” (p. 56). A full ruling has not been made, as this was not in the scope the court was asked to rule on in the D.C. v. Heller case, but they left the door open for future ruling.
This article was originally published on PolicyMic.com, now Mic.com. Original publish date Feb 8, 2013. Original author, Matt MacBradaigh.
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125 Comments

  1. Dear Lord, please help us to regain the trust and hope that we all had at one time, when we had honorable leaders in positions of power , help us to regain our nation as we always knew it, as a light on a hill, without all the foreign influence that is in places of power and influence at this time in history, Lord, you are our main hope and we give you praise , honor and glory in Jesus Mighty Name. Amen

    Reply
    • A time when black people were slaves and indigenous peoples were robbed of their land. When our founding fathers were Deists and only white land owning men could vote. Those were the days…

      Reply
      • Drew, would you change the 1st 10 Amendments in any way?

        Reply
        • My complaint isn’t with the amendments, but with the notion that the US was once a Christian nation. It might be the best Babylon in the world, but it’s still Babylon

          Reply
          • we very much ARE a nation founded on Christian principles , we honored God and He blessed us because of it , its OBVIOUS to see , those that have a problem with God Himself get hung up on a wrong technicality and refuse to see this

          • There IS a difference (about our Republic) Than any other country/gov’t in the world. To describe US as “Babylon” is really out of line. I don’t recall ANYONE saying we are “perfect” – but we damn sure do more and try to be than anyone else in the world. How about you explain what YOUR contribution to this great nation is (rather) than depend on your “Constitutional Right” to bitch about it.

          • As I tell everybody who doesn’t like it, you can leave.

          • ” As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion…” – John Adams ( second president of the United States and founding father)

          • you people are sick ! god did not choose this country to make it great ! it was stolen from the natives and built on the backs of slaves and you all got the gall to talk about a greater time in this nations evil history, sure you loved it when the red carpet was rolled out for caucasians and blacks were getting lynched

          • Wkclark. Its was a treaty not a direct quote from Pres. Adams. The treaty was replaced a few yeaes later.
            A second treaty, the Treaty of Peace and Amity signed on July 4, 1805, superseded the 1796 treaty. The 1805 treaty did not contain the phrase “not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion. Just context for everyone.

          • IAM KD SMITH, Please cite your source.

          • We are still a Christan nation. The 1st amendment applies to all regiions, but no matter how the left spins it, we have always been a Chirstian nation.

          • you will have a lot more to complain about, when the powers that be turn tyranny loose in this “Babylon.

          • Greetings all… @ Drew @ jeff mason…

            “If, therefore, from the settlement of the Saxons, to the introduction of Christianity among them, that system of religion could not be a part of the common law, because they were not yet Christians; and if, having their laws from that period to the close of the common law, we are able to find among them no such act of adoption; we may safely affirm (though contradicted by all the judges and writers on earth) that Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law.

            [‘Whether Christianity is Part of the Common Law?’, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, from Monticello, February 10, 1814]”

            This is just one of many quotes from Thomas Jefferson concerning what the Laws/Constitution were founded on… It certainly was not “Christianity” but the Germanic Heathen Saxons belief in equal justice, freedom of speech, bearing of weapons of war by every man…etc.

            ‘Nuff said

          • Absolutely none of what you all are talking about matters or pertains to 2nd amendment rights. Leave religion out of this battle or you will turn people away from our side, as a Christian I ask you this. There are hundreds of thousands of non-Christians who are pro 2A and would die for you and your rights to own a gun.

            AGAIN, this whole battle we are fighting together against gun control is NOT about religion, it is about an amazing country full of amazing people that need firearms to keep the government in check.

            Yes I agree we may have been founded by Christians, but those brave Christians fought that battle for freedom of religion of your choice, and the freedom for people of all those religions to carry firearms.

          • I once heard someone say the whole thing should be trashed since it was written by a bunch of old white dudes. But funny how they wanted the 1st amendment left intact. Making sure they had the right to speak freely. Funny isn’t it??

          • Drew, Your complaint has nothing to do with the U.S. as a Christian nation. Your complaint is a reply to Gayla’s expression of faith. She said nothing about a Christian nation. You have the same classic tired, old, incorrect, invalid, value laden, unsupported statements of every other atheist. Face it, Drew. You and Gayla are on equal terms when it comes to proving anything about your assumptions of God. Therefore for you to even address the issue is an act of faith and your diatribe is just as learned by rote as that of anyone because it is so weighted by error and prejudice.

          • My suggestion then is to move to a nation you think is better.

          • Ignorance of history. From the founders own words – this nation was founded on Christian moral principles with no governmental favoritism for any particular belief. Denial does not change the facts!

          • hey drew there were MORE whie slaves then there were black slaves and it was a black man himself who owned the first black slave in america But you are right the majority of our founding fathers were deists

      • if you had a clue you would be dangerous

        Reply
        • Which part of my statement do you not agree with?

          Reply
          • You overlook the fact that man is inherently evil. “Sinner” the Bible calls us hopelessly and thoroughly evil. You act like the US was the only country with slavery at that time or that the Indians were totally blameless. Slavery was worldwide, many blacks owned slaves in the US and many blacks sold their black enemies into slavery in Africa. Some Indians were innocent, some were barbarians. The fact remains that a group of people, with the knowledge and experience relative to their times, came to this continent, some to get wealthy at whatever the cost, and some to flee tyranny themselves. To “across the board” make it look like this country was found by evil men with evil intentions is no more true than saying all black people are criminals or all white people are racists. Don’t let modern propaganda run your mind and dictate your thoughts. We are all evil, some of us have realized that we are out of step with our Creator and our doing our best to get back in line and some of us are living totally selfish lives, just like back then. Some people are good, some are evil, just like then. They tell us the majority of Muslims are peaceful, okay, well that’s fine, but that still leaves about 350 million that are of the jihadist mindset out of the 1.5 billion Muslims. We need to not judge ancient times by modern standards, which is propaganda being perpetuated done by evil men with evil intentions for the people of this country who just want to be free.

          • Drew, you should understand (apparently you don’t) that the constitution is a flexible, living document designed to allow the republic to change with the times. The founding fathers were aware of the inherent hypocrisy but as they needed the southern states to make good any rebellion, it was decided to leave that issue for a later date. One thing that knee-jerk, coffee house leftists seem to miss every time is that simple fact — the constitution is a living document, brilliantly designed by those “white land owning men” to be exactly that.

            I bet you’re white, by the way. Much guilt lately? lol

          • The American forefathers stole this land fair and square! We bought Manhattan for around two bushels of corn and a deal is a deal! No two men or even twenty could have written the constitution without having an inspiration of a higher plane of thought! It set in place a great land that did great until 212 years later when a guilt ridden population that’s still white majority voted in a man of color and it has set in motion a chain of events that has led to nothing but division! Is it better to have not voted in the first black president which has led to racial division and Americas downfall I don’t know! Is it better to have him in and see all the division and have dialogue about it I don’t know that either more will be revealed!

      • ummmmm, seriously? I didn’t see that Gayla included slavery to come back? And the purpose of only land owners voting, is because they had skin in the game they paid taxes. I honestly don’t think anyone on assistance of any kind should be allowed to vote because they are bought and paid for votes, an allegiance to the hand that feeds them, the Democrats!

        Reply
        • “help us to regain the trust and hope that we all had at one time, when we had honorable leaders in positions of power , help us to regain our nation as we always knew it, as a light on a hill, without all the foreign influence that is in places of power and influence at this time in history”

          This would lead me to believe that we were once honorable slave owning slayers of indigenous people, it’s just not true that we were once a Christian nation, we may have been a Judeo-Christian nation with a positive civil religion, but our country (and every other for that matter) is and was far from being Christian.

          Reply
          • Drew, go be a nit picking, pretentious idiot elsewhere.

          • Drew, there is not one country on this earth that is free of fault or sin. If you don’t like this country then carry on. The are planes and boats leaving our shores everyday. Hop aboard. The more negative, America hating people we can get to leave our shores the better off we all will be.

            Anyone with love in their heart and a positive mind would know that Gayla had no desire to resurface the sins of the past. She is simply praying for respectable patriots to lead this country.

            It is typical of haters of America to take what people say and twist it to something ugly. Its ok, we forgive you. We understand that there must be something in your life that has made you so negative and that it is not your fault you hate life, so it is ok for you to attack and belittle people you don’t even know because it is not your fault…. It is someone else fault… We know… We understand…

          • You seem to think that the only good times were in 1776-1788. You forget JFK T.R. FDR IKE and so many others. Stop living in your selected past. We are a country built to evolve towards progress yet people such as yourself only want to bring up the past that never affected you or your immediate family simply because you want to rustle some Jimmies or because you want someone to feel unjustly guilty and give you your way/something.

          • Drew. It’s simple. First, If you don’t like the country, then leave to on more suitable to your views. Second, if you feel so bad for the Indians the donate your house and land to an Indian tribe indigenous to you locale. That should make you feel better.

          • Here’s the problem for you folks…negotiations are over. Argue all you want. I and all the people I know won’t give them up. T

          • Please learn your history. First off our founding fathes were Christians. What you said are lies they have been teaching in schools for the last 40 years but it is indeed not true. We never said we were a perfect country. All countries have problems but we have done more for this world than any other. We as a country have done our best to change that. You will never find another country that gives you the freedom you have here. Even other western countries don’t have the freedom we have. Of course it is slowly being taken from us. Take England instance, their citizens don’t have any rights. The government has all the power.

        • Amen Judy –
          Drew is nothing more than a liberal a bitch’r and complainer, Instead of answering you (in true lib form) he “induces confusion with counter accusations” and tries to instil his “superior” insight to a problem. Never mind the U.S. stopped slavery or did reparations to our indigenous people (unlike ANY other country in the world) NO, we’re still wrong and bad (while) this cream puff (probably) enjoys the “social nets” of our Republic and the luxury of others paying his way (all the while) bashing Christians (because) he thinks it’s socially cool.

          Reply
          • I’m actually a Christian who thinks the church in the US is too wrapped up in the state to remember Jesus. I don’t think God should bless the US any more than any other country and I think the US is satisfied with religiosity instead of a real and changing relationship with God. I am not liberal and don’t see how saying the founding of the US was not Christian makes me one, I’m merely saying don’t look at the past with rose colored glasses or try to claim a past that doesn’t really exist. Our founding fathers were Deists for the most part and at best followed a civil religion not unlike many with whom Jesus didn’t agree with. This isn’t to say the US isn’t a great country, but it is not the ultimate country for those who profess to follow Jesus.

          • Drew, When people say God Bless the USA they don’t say only the USA and no other country. They don’t say we now God that we are your favored of course you bless us… We recognize our blessing that God has given to us and we are proclaiming our thanks and appreciation. (once again you turn something beautiful into something ugly and hateful.) You need to find a way to turn your outlook around you sad soul. Oh …but wait…. its not your fault… someone hurt your feelings, you can’t be held responsible for being so negative.

      • Why do buffoons like you even comment, when you have no original thoughts of your own, but just garbage in, garbage out? Spoken by a person who exists when the dumbest, most inept administration is US history is at the helm, an administration I’m willing to bet you voted for. So your opinion on pretty much anything is useless.

        Reply
        • It’s funny how everyone says I am being negative, when I have said nothing negative. I didn’t vote for Obama for the record and consider myself somewhat of a libertarian. People are putting words in my mouth and accusing me of things I have not said. Read any of my comments and you will see no hate, no name calling and no claiming to be liberal. My thoughts at least in this comment section are much more original than the whole group who is ganging up against me.

          Reply
          • Again Drew, our founding father’s were not deists. That lie has been taught in schools forever. We as a people are doing the best we can, but when we see our country literally is being destroyed right before our eyes, it tends to bring out our bad side. But we are a Christian nation at least until it’s’ taken from us.

          • These are all party loyalists, you wont get anywhere with them. I run into this all of the time when discussing issues with conservatives or liberals. No matter what I say, if it is in opposition to the forum’s political lacal; I am deemed the political opposition and called stupid, cruel, or unAmerican. I find it funny how blind people can be, but it is their right as a US Citizen to be such. To anyone who claims Drew is a liberal and claims to not be a party loyalist, you are a party loyalist. You still cling to,your conservative ties to the GOP, whether you identify as TEA Party, Republican, or independent. Americans need to check the mirror. Still, dont despair Drew, I often try to ve the voice of reason amoung conservatives and the voice of reality amoung liberals. One day, people will listen.

          • I have the same opinions man. The US is great, but we cannot ignore the sins we’ve committed. Being critical of something is not saying you hate it, it’s saying that progress should be made to help prevent similar things from happening.

            Also, the first and fourth amendment protects EVERYONE with an opinion. Whether they lean right, left or otherwise. The two party system was designed to divide us as a nation. Look at what it’s doing in a message board? It’s got people shouting someone should leave the country instead of just having a conversation.

            Do you want to become north Korea? Cause this is how you do it.

          • You were the one putting words in someone’s mouth…Gayla prayed for a return of strong patriotic leadership and you twisted it into accusing her of wanting a return to slavery. Hypocrite much?

          • The Treaty of Tripoli, passed by the U.S. Senate in 1797, read in part: “The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.” The treaty was written during the Washington administration, and sent to the Senate during the Adams administration. It was read aloud to the Senate, and each Senator received a printed copy. This was the 339th time that a recorded vote was required by the Senate, but only the third time a vote was unanimous (the next time was to honor George Washington). There is no record of any debate or dissension on the treaty. It was reprinted in full in three newspapers – two in Philadelphia, one in New York City. There is no record of public outcry or complaint in subsequent editions of the papers.

            Facts/Belief…two different worlds. It’s okay to live in either.

          • I am not saying that she was asking for slavery to come back, simply that to pray for a return to our Christian roots would be a return to the beginning when such things were allowed. I don’t agree that those roots had the values of Jesus. They might have been nominally Christian, but I don’t see it as some sort of a golden age. It is not fair to say that people that disagree with your politics are not patriots, if you are passionate on one side or another of an issue and want to see your country improve you are a patriot.

          • If you are accusing people of “putting words” in your mouth, maybe it’s time to just shut your piehole!

          • I agree, leave religion out of this argument. This is about our rights as a country and citizens. Believe in and worship who ever you desire. Fight for our rights, we the people, for the people by the people

      • Kind of a simple comment there is trash in every race , I hate all equally stupid is stupid white, black, brown , yellow or red.

        Reply
        • It was said in a previous comment something about “the sins we’ve committed”. If this is in reference to our history and the things that happened at the beginning, then I will say right off the bat I stand corrected. But I initially did not take it that way.

          My immediate reaction was wait a minute. I have never owned a slave. I never drove the Native Americans off and stole their land. That was then, this is now. So I don’t know about the rest of you but I don’t like being blamed for something that happened (not saying any of you are blaming. Just in general.) decades and a couple hundred years ago.

          I am thankful our founding fathers were some smart cookies. They knew to write all they wrote in establishing this country knowing things and situations will evolve and grow, yet still protect individual citizens.

          Reply
      • Those were horrible dark days for the soul of our country. When we forgot the words of the Son of Our Father ‘Love one another as I have loved you.’ Our founding fathers were not gods. Only heathens would say so. Do not worship false idols lest God strike you down !

        Reply
        • Denise….please don’t apply today’s standards to 250 years ago….liberals do that all the time…it is not fair. Those were not horrible days…..read any of the documents and letters from the founding fathers and look at the good that this country has done and you can see that America has been a beacon of light and hope and freedom…..as a side note, could you please tell me where Jesus said that slavery was immoral or wrong and should be banned, or capital punishment for that matter? Jesus did not try to change government systems…that is NOT what He was about….He was about changing the individual souls….and as a Christian I believe that you should practice the “Golden Rule” of treating others as you would treat yourself….that doesn’t mean that I give all my possessions or my job to someone else so that they can have my stature and I take theirs…..it means that when you find someone in dire straits or in need of help that you should say to yourself “what would I like if I were in their shoes”….helping and charity is a good Christian attribute that I try to practice….and helping those in need is part of that….

          Reply
      • The good black people that lived in peace in Africa without any brutality, the indigenous friendly and civilized people. Bad bad white people, the only bad guys in the entire globe at that time. Or perhaps we, white people were just as all the other and just for a fortunate event were stronger and succeed. Looks like so many people has been hypnotized into this weird suicidal vision of a world of good happy people murdered by the white monsters.
        Let face it. All the world was shitty at that time, women were less than men, tribes all around the world were killing each other, all the humans did a mess as they are doing today, and the animals (so lovely and good) did and do the same.
        Perhaps we, whites, had just the opportunity to grow more and do a bit better than the others, we decided to free the blacks without being forced to do so, we decided to give our women the same rights we have, we decided to fight tyranny. WE did that, not all together but step by step. And without us the world would be worst!

        Reply
        • I don’t disagree that all the world was bad then, just don’t think that our country was more Christian in 1776 than it is today, for that matter I don’t think a country can or should be Christian, but it’s people that are Christian.

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          • While I agree that The USA did some evil things, as have all countries. We have also done many wonderful things. It was the white people of the Northern states who fought and died in the thousands to free the slaves. America has never claimed perfection but is always striving to become better.

        • We do realize that most slaves who were sold into slavery, were sold by black people?Their own kind did this to them. I don’t see any comments on this FACT. put that in your pipe and smoke it…

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      • AMEN!

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      • Of course, you know you are an idiot, the vote has always been for all citizen’s to exercise. True slaves were not considered slaves, but that has been rectified so, quit your crying over spilled milk.

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      • Drew. Liberal drivel. Only 2 of the founding father were remotely “deists”, Two! There were 56 who signed the Constitution. Study history from someone who isn’t biased against it. Yes, slavery was there, but the goal, at that time, was to create a sustainable nation. The southern colonies would not have entered the Union if slavery were outlawed. You either know this already, and choose to ignore it, or you’re ignorant. In either case, SHUT THE HELL UP!

        Reply
      • He’s a troll who has completely hijacked the thread. So instead of discussing the 2A we’re now sidetracked to an interesting but completely off-the-subject discussion.

        Don’t waste a brain cell replying to his inane, facile and specious comments.

        Reply
      • Too bad there’s no constitutional right to intelligence

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      • You may want to Look into HOW Slavery Became Popular on this Continent. It was a BLACK MAN who Fought in the colonies Courts. His Name was Anthony Johnson His First Slave was John Casor. And The Natives didnt have their land stolen it was won in War Inflicted from BOTH SIDES. Both sides Broke treaties Which is where the term Indian Giver came from.

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      • Ya know, after white Irishmen were slaves, and black African people sold their family and friends for money and booze.
        It is shitty about my fellow Native Americans though. But hey, shit happens, and most have overcome.
        Except the few who think they’re owed something from happenings hundreds of years ago.

        Stop thinking about what people are “owed”, and start fixing the present

        Reply
        • You are right, thank you. Let’s fix this country and it starts be taking Washington back. Remove unconstitutional politician, put in term limits and stop needless spending

          Reply
      • Not all the founders approved slavery.There was a big discussion ocer the issue. Slavery was codified only because the union could not established without doing so. Some looked to the future for slavery to end. Abd, it did!
        As for the Founders being deists, some were, but not all. Many were followers of Christ.

        You nood to examine history rather than repeat myths.

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      • It was citizens who could vote. Citizens back then were defined as people who owned land. Not all blacks were slaves back then, In fact, there were freemen who were black who also owned land, and who could vote.

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      • if you’re unhappy with the freedoms bestowed upon you just for being born here because of those tyrannical men that saw fit to grant them so many years ago then please feel free to leave and go somewhere you feel more accepted.

        Bye bye!

        Reply
      • You must be voting for Clinton in 2016.

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      • So they were Deists, but not Christian….lol….atheists and liberals will do anything but try to recognize the truth. It was Christian philosophy at the time that men were the leaders of the household and therefore their vote stood for them and their families….so that is also a Christian trait that was exhibited by the founders. Also, if you find somewhere in the Bible where it says that slavery should be outlawed please show me….so early Founders were also allowed to have slaves based on the Christian bible….just making the point that early founders were Christian in general and the country was founded on Judeo-Christian thinking and principles….Now, following the examples in the New Testament and applying them has allowed the country to progress, even at very high cost….

        Reply
      • Drew, I think your point of view is some what short sighted. You seem to view the founding men of this country as being men who were fully supportive of having slaves. But I think the reality is that they were men who found themselves in a situation where they inherited slaves and they were trying to find a serious and workable solution to remove slavery. Without being able to respect the situation they were in, you really can’t accurately represent. Abraham Lincoln made this same argument as part of his campaign to over throw slavery. He argued that our founding fathers expressed their disgust of slavery but that they were not able to find a solution. Of course as we can see from Lincoln, the solution would be nasty, but if anyone at a prior time would have tried to implement the solution that Lincoln did, then it probably would not have had quite the support that Lincoln had.

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      • Now it suddenly becomes a race issue.

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      • You faggot prick hiding behind your computer typing racist comments. You would probably never say things like this face to face to real people. You disgust me!!!

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      • Now we’re all slaves, no one’s vote counts, and the Constitution and its amendments are subject to every whim of interpretation. But some of us have sworn oaths to defend, not the nation, not the people, not the borders, not the land, not the government, not even the President, but only the Constitution … against ALL enemies, foreign AND domestic. Don’t like that? Go ahead. Stand up and be counted. Just get to the border before we get to you.

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    • well prayed Gayla , this is SO true , he honored God and He blessed us , now sadly we are starting to turn from Him and we are suffering because of it , doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see this

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    • Apparently you forgot about the first admentment separating church from state.

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      • Yes!

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      • You might want to actually read both the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. In the First Amendment is the Establishment Clause. The Establishment Clause states that no one religion shall receive preferential deference, Atheism included. NOWHERE IN EITHER THE CONSTITUTION OR THE BILL OF RIGHTS is the phrase “separation of church and state”. This is the actual words VER BATIM from the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…” If you read the aforementioned “Establishment Clause” it does not mention a separation of church and state. What it does state is that there is to be nothing “…prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” Please make sure of your information, and do not misquote or selectively edit.

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        • It also says “respecting an establishment of religion,” which defends secular government. People seem to fail to miss that the founders fought off a non-secular nation, England; so they didnt want a nation dominated by religion. They also set out to protect any religious minority “prohibit the free exercise thereof.” Secular government is an American tradition, progressives and socialists are the ones who started this “Christian nation” idea (Wilson, FDR, Jackson, LBJ, Carter). Yes, Christians have equal protection under the law; but they are not superior nor do they have more rights than any other citizen. American government is not meant to favor any religion, period. That is what the establishment clause states.

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      • Everybody remembers and loves to parrot “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”, but nobody ever remembers the following portion which states “nor prohibiting the free expression thereof”. There’s a huge difference between establishing a church sponsored religion and acknowledging the values that people hold.

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      • Better re-read that. It does not separate church from state. I prohibits state from interfering with church. I know it is a subtle difference, but it is a critical difference. The “separation of church and state” is a myth based on a private letter written by Thomas Jefferson to John Adams during their correspondence after they had both retired from public life.

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    • Gayla, I’m not sure how old you are, but when you start pontificating about taking things back to how great things were as ‘we always knew it’ I have to believe you are either 12 or 72. Because no one else lives in that fantasy world.
      Things are the way they are, and God does not make time go backwards. I cannot find an instance in my Bible anyway. So get out and VOTE if you don’t like the current political situation.

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    • Amen.

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    • We’ll need to do a massive overhaul on our government and take a good crack at the 1%ers for that to happen.

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      • Specifically the way Congress is insulated from their decisions. Incentive systems and politics and all that.

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    • Amen

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    • Amen God Bless America !!!

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  2. Too bad these crucial facts will not be taught in schools today.

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    • That’s why all American families should be teaching it at home. The schools don’t have a monopoly on learning thank God

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  3. We do not need the Supreme Courts approval, permission, approved view, or case issue of the God granted Second Amendment. It is provided by our Founding Fathers in declaration on July 6, 1775. http://www.constitution.org/bcp/takuparm.htm

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    • Tim I agree with your sentiment, but in dealing with legalists we do in fact need SCOTUS to clarify some things like this. The rationale provided in this case recognizes that the right to keep and bear arms predates both the Constitution and the Declaration, as do all the recognized (not granted) rights in the Bill of Rights.

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  4. for those saying that the founding fathers never conceived of automatic weapons being developed, one measly needs to research the puckle gun

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    • Further, if the 2nd Amendment covers only muskets, the right to free speech in the 1ST covers only handset lead and wooden type, and only when used in hand cranked wooden printing presses.

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    • our forefathers were pretty sharp , they knew technology would change but the PRINCIPLE would ALWAYS remain the SAME , people have the GOD given RIGHT to defend themselves against ANYBODY who intends them wrongful harm , whether that be a criminal , terrorist, wild animal , aggressive foreign nation , or as the 2nd amendment was primarily intending to protect from – a tyrannical government – , people stay free and much better off when those that wish to abuse power are kept at bay , … this is why they said ARMS , which means ALL manner of weaponry whether that be a sword , a knife , a musket , a bolt action rifle , a semi automatic rifle , a FULLY automatic rifle , a LASER rifle whenever they get perfected or when ever we finally invent one …. a light saber 😉 …. more simply put the right use of a TOOL to keep evil people from taking advantage of good people

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  5. Some comments I could take issue with, but, recall that 2A is there to back-up 1A.

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  6. Where are the references cited by page number?

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    • In the USSC D.C. vs Heller decision.

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    • Section 1. has the link where it says “D.C. v Heller” (text is blue). That link will take you to the Supreme Court decision in PDF. Cheers! 🙂

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  7. Drew is a troll, Pagan African Tribal Chiefs sold their own people into bondage for Rum and Gold. The institution of Slavery is evil, I don’t see you bashing ISIS for keeping the modern day slave trade alive and well right now as we exist in our modern society. Get over your White Christian bashing and quit being a hypocrite.

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    • well said Gene , our forefathers very much were Godly men , not perfect , a FEW were far from it , but the majority were very serious about their relationship with God and KNEW VERY well what they were talking about

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    • I am a white Christian and I would criticize those groups too. I don’t think it’s a Christian justification of slavery or any other evil to say that others are doing it. I don’t see Jesus as someone who preached that the ends justify the means or preached righteousness that just had to be better than your neighbor.

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  8. You should not be excluded if you are a non violent felon…if no firearm was used in the commission of your crime you should still be allowed to own one…If someone has a felony DWI what does that have to do with owing a gun??

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  9. jay, what about strong-armed robbery, arson, rape, distribution of narcotics,…. those felonies don’t necessarily involve firearms either. Are we allowing those felons to retain their right to bear arms? A felony conviction means that an individual has demonstrated a lack of respect for society’s norms and laws. Are people who pick and choose what laws they will obey, or when they will obey them, to be trusted with the responsibility that comes with carrying a firearm?

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    • If I may play the devil’s advocate, if an ex-convict cannot be trusted with a firearm, are they trustworthy enough to be let out of prison? You’re making the case of the gun control set for them: that guns are inherently and *uniquely* dangerous objects which ought to be subject to all sorts of special restrictions we wouldn’t place on things like motor vehicles, gasoline, knives, bats, etc., any of which could be used, individually or in conjunction, to devastating effect as weapons, as I’m sure you’re aware.

      My personal thoughts on the matter are that prison terms should be longer, but with a greater emphasis on legitimate rehabilitation and early release. Additionally, ex-cons should definitely have the ability to petition for restoration of rights, but be subject to harsh punishment for recidivism. Just because Billy Banger served 5 years doesn’t mean he really ought to be released. Conversely, if he really turns around in 3, what’s the point of keeping him for another 2? After his release, if he shows that his old ways remain behind him, I see no reason he should continue to be denied access to some rights, while if he abuses his regained freedom, he has shown little regard for those rights or society in general.

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      • Brandon. I agree with all the recent great Presidents you listed save for FDR

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    • Yes, we should allow all people to carry firearms openly in public places. There is a rational argument for requiring all able bodied men to go armed when in pubic. If no morality will control the criminals among us, the sure knowledge that misuse of any weapon can bring instant death from non-criminals in the immediate vicinity. The most polite societies in history have been the ones where all men went about their business armed.

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  10. Amazing arguments from different sides of what I thought was a pretty good article describing the second amendment. I thought the efforts of our leaders who wrote the second amendment, and what they wrote were well spoken. It doesn’t make them neither perfect Christians or perfect people. I think anyone here including God as part of the discussion would agree with that. After all, we all have free will, which tends to always leave us falling short of perfection as human beings. That being said, and back to the article itself, the second amendment is important to us and should remain that way. It should never be forgotten that we have rights that should be upheld, AND that they should be treated with the greatest of responsibility by each and everyone of us. When we see abuse of rights by others acting irresponsibly, it should never be enough reason to change the rights. They remain a truth that should never be swayed by human error, no matter how extensive. As for God, I’m a Christian and have great faith in God. Its not our place to judge people of the past on their faith, but rather to focus on our own, as well as helping others as much as we’re capable for the better all of us. Peace, and Amen!

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  11. You forgot the term “well regulated” and the historical context of the words. Historically, “regulated” meant trained or practiced. A well regulated militia was well trained and practiced (competent) militia… While it also meant what we now commonly think of in terms of definition, the usage in the sentence makes it clear that it is being used to describe a well-trained militia.

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    • In re: “well regulated”

      In those days military training consisted of 3 or 4 days learning to march in formation. These days because so many of us have no working knowledge of weaponry the minimum training for military is 8 weeks, 34 week if one is trained to infantry standards.

      In other words, you get “well regulated” when all able bodied men are familiar with and possess the latest in weapons technology in very short order. Take their guns away and you get an 8 week delay between the requirement for a militia and the ability to actually put that militia into the field.

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  12. I used to care great deal about this Country, There has never been one like her. But this great experiment is dead. We are run by a system that cares only for those who can afford to buy what they want from supposed civil servants. We have a system corrupt in every sense of the word. We have so called leaders hell bent on destroying all good will. We have a military full of cowards, who allow treason in the highest levels of government. We are invaded by illegal aliens, who feel they have a right to what I work for. We have police across the country, harassing law abiding citizens, and creating a mistrust of themselves. We have a group of foreign diplomats at the UN, telling us what we can and can not do. Our rights are constantly eroded. We are slaves to a institution that demonizes and ridicules the way my parents were raised, the way I was raised. The beliefs of many, are under constant attack. We are forced to associate with people who violate our beliefs. This list can go on and on. Suffice to say, I feel this once great country is Dead. There is no one who will help save her. And to save means refreshing the tree of Liberty, with the blood of patriots.. Words no longer have meaning. Fight ……..As For Me MOLON LABE.

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  13. Loved how it turned from gun rights to religion. love how discussions just go off on a tangent, but thank god it got back on track. The only “God” that should of been mentioned is that it is our “God given” right to keep and bear arms, but what about the “shall not be infringed?” i think i paraphrased a bit there but you get what im saying. But this is the most important part of the 2nd A that the article forgot to mention.

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  14. What isn’t mentioned is the actual wording of the Amendment. The first part is an explanation of the why the individual has the right to keep and bear arms. It states that because a militia is necessary (to the common defense), the individual shall have the right to likewise be armed. It anticipates the mischief (evil) that an armed government can exact when dealing with an unarmed populace.

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  15. I find it hard to believe this was on the liberal site policymic.com. It was really funny that policymic,com stopped allowing comments. Basically liberals would post their junk comments, and conservatives would destroy them with facts. It was hilarious, and the liberals finally surrendeded and shut of comments. When they can’t win with facts, they shut out all other comments.

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  16. Very good artical! After reading the comments, one can understand why a few people (few defined as a significantly less number) are trying to dismantle our constitution.

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  17. Wondering why there is a picture of the Declaration of Independence and not the US Constitution, anyone else?

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  18. The democrats have a loooooong history of murder. The Trail of Tears was only the beginning .
    “A time when black people were slaves and indigenous peoples were robbed of their land”

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  19. The key word in your statement is “when,” as in PAST TENSE. Slavery has been around forever, and it still exists today. We find examples of slavery in one of the oldest books known to man. We also find examples of it all around the world, today. In Africa there are millions of black people enslaved by other black people, but no one cares about that. They would rather complain about something that happened 200+ years ago that doesn’t affect them anymore, than to fight for the slaves of today. No doubt America made mistakes with slavery. However, we proclaimed ourselves as one nation under God! We trusted in him and he blessed us by us showing the error of our ways and giving us the courage and means to make things right. If the 2nd ammendmant did not exist, do you not think we would have been able to stop disgusting slavery? I don’t because those who opposed it would have been unarmed and slaughtered. We were a great nation when we were united under God. Then they took God out of school and work and life in general. Look what has happened? Can you not see what is happening to this world and country? We need to take our country back and give it to God so that he can bless us again.

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  20. In their wisdom our Founding Fathers realize they couldn’t predict the future. So, they included the 9th and 10th Amendments in the Constitution for the people and States to address issues not in the enumerated powers for Congress to enforce. There are around 18 of these “powers” and education, health, abortion, same-sex marriage . . . etc., are none of these. Government has no business with these issues – only a criminal government, and that’s what we have.

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  21. Gayla, I mean no disrespect to your prayer for God’s help as we can certainly use any support we can get, but in the home I was raised in, the message we always received when we prayed for things was: “God helps those that help themselves”.

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  22. Lmao! Well said!

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  23. Apparently some of you do not know anything about God or who created governments in the first place. If You were not stuck on the reasons you don’t believe in God(by the way, there is only one living God all others are false gods and can’t save you) then you would see the power the Bible has at directing anyone through life including establishing a nation, defending yourself, prayer and how to treat your neighbor. It also says something about a jackass, but you will have to read it for yourself.

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  24. I’m curious as to why it wasn’t mentioned that the SCOTUS upheld Reagan’s 1986 Machine gun Ban? While since this was originally posted in 2015 the SCOTUS has upheld multiple State Bans on Assault Weapons.
    YES it was a Conservative who signed it into Law and it was a Conservative who wrote it and it was a Conservative who created and supported the largest Gun Control Advocacy group. So lets stop this myth that it’s only the Liberals.
    In 1986, Reagan signed the Firearm Owners Protection Act. It was written by Republican James A. McClure.
    The bill provided a number of protections for gun owners. But it also barred the private sale and ownership of any fully automatic rifles — machine guns — that were not already registered with the federal government on the day Reagan signed the law.
    The provision, still in effect today, is not the outright ban because Private citizens remain free to buy and transfer machine guns that were registered prior to May 20, 1986 — provided they pass a background check, receive signed approval from their local police chief or sheriff and pay a $200 federal tax, but it disproves some assertions made here.

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