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Should Ordinary Citizens be allowed to own, carry, & use Firearms to defend their own lives, & the lives of their family & friends?

Absolutely Yes!
I thinks so.
I don't think so.
Definitely No!
My name isn't String, so let me have a icy cold beer so I can ponder the options...
Topic: Gun Control - Should Ordinary Citizens Own, Carry, & Use Firearms? (Read 340148 times)

Re: Gun Control - Should Ordinary Citizens be allowed to Own, Carry, & Use Firearms?

Reply #76
At the end the video it notes the upcoming games. I'm not really sure why the media outlets feel compelled to mention that. Let's say Colorado Springs gets chosen to host a Winter Games and a shooting happens in Houston. What exactly would the Houston "events" have to do with the security levels in Colorado?

Re: Gun Control - Should Ordinary Citizens be allowed to Own, Carry, & Use Firearms?

Reply #77
Although SF already knows my answer to the OP question, I do have to point out to him that the 2nd Amendment doesn't mean anything at all to anyone outside of the US, as their laws on guns vary widely. (Probably already knows that, but I am pointing it out regardless)

Re: Gun Control - Should Ordinary Citizens be allowed to Own, Carry, & Use Firearms?

Reply #78
Although SF already knows my answer to the OP question, I do have to point out to him that the 2nd Amendment doesn't mean anything at all to anyone outside of the US, as their laws on guns vary widely. (Probably already knows that, but I am pointing it out regardless)

On the face of it, the biggest difference is that it's a paragraph in the constitution, which is not the case anywhere else I know of. And it's written sloppily, something that should not have been allowed in the first place.

Let's examine the text: "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."

This is an egregious case of syntax error. What is this thing about "well regulated Militia"? Does this set the context, in light of which the entire amendment should be read? This would actually make sense, but why not make it clear? Who are the people in the latter part? People in general or the people of the "well regulated Militia"?

If the "people" part of the amendment is to be read radically apart from the "militia" part, as pro-gunners would have it, then what would the "militia" part mean? Pro-gunners read the amendment simply as "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." But in such case, the militia part inevitably reads: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, [...] shall not be infringed." What does it mean to say that "Militia shall not be infringed"?

Poor wording in the amendment, but from what I have understood, it's often the case in English (and medieval German) common law tradition. Over here we have a tradition of writing laws sensibly, so it will be unnecessary to forcefully try to read meaning into the text afterwards. That's a basic difference.

The practical differences in our gun laws are not too considerable. The regulations are pretty much the same all over the world. It's just that the regulations in the rest of the world are written in a manner that makes sense.

Re: Gun Control - Should Ordinary Citizens be allowed to Own, Carry, & Use Firearms?

Reply #79
Who are the people in the latter part? People in general or the people of the "well regulated Militia"?
It's clear that English is not your language.
The word "people" usually refers to the general public, particularly in the legalese.

Re: Gun Control - Should Ordinary Citizens be allowed to Own, Carry, & Use Firearms?

Reply #80
Poor wording in the amendment, but from what I have understood, it's often the case in English (and medieval German) common law tradition.

It's one of the problems that emerges from consuetudinary system of laws instead from Latin/Roman system where precision and logic are the values not the populace usage, custom or habits.
A matter of attitude.

Re: Gun Control - Should Ordinary Citizens be allowed to Own, Carry, & Use Firearms?

Reply #81
This is an egregious case of syntax error. What is this thing about "well regulated Militia"? Does this set the context, in light of which the entire amendment should be read? This would actually make sense, but why not make it clear? Who are the people in the latter part? People in general or the people of the "well regulated Militia"?

It's not a syntax error, nor is it unclear: it's 18th century English confounded further by 18th century comma usage. In Dutch and German it's not unusual to use commas to separate clauses, much like it used to be in English.

After removing two commas which are possibly distracting to English people and adding a because for similar reasons, you get something like this: "[Because] A well regulated Militia [is] necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed."

Or, paraphrasing something I read a few years ago, consider this alternative: "A well informed electorate, being necessary to the governance of a free state, the right of the people to keep and read books, shall not be infringed."

Re: Gun Control - Should Ordinary Citizens be allowed to Own, Carry, & Use Firearms?

Reply #82
Yes Ersi - I agree - the 2nd Amendment, held in such reverence by some, is atrociously written, but that' what lawyers and politicians do so well isn't it!

There's an interesting article here on the matter of commas, capitals and meanings.

I can't link this I'm afraid, it requiring more time to find it again than I have at present, but I read an historical assessment of the original wording which noted that the reason for the original sentence was to acknowledge the fact that the fledgling America did not have a standing army and thus a well trained militia was a necessity in times of strife to take the part of a standing army. It was thus necessary to ensure that the population at large were able to have arms so that they could form part of that army.

So the arguments go round and round, but the casual link with the phrase "being necessary to the security of a free State" is pretty clear I think (the clue is in the use of the word "being" which points it to being the objective of the whole sentence, not simply one of a list of items).

Re: Gun Control - Should Ordinary Citizens be allowed to Own, Carry, & Use Firearms?

Reply #83

It's not a syntax error, nor is it unclear: [...] "[Because] A well regulated Militia [is] necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed."

Now this is a clear explanation, thanks :) I can easily believe this may be the intended syntactic structure, as it makes sense in other Germanic languages too - even though not in legal text, imho.

The problem persists:
By degrading "well regulated Militia" into a subordinate clause in the sentence, this interpretation plays entirely into the hands of pro-gunners. When in subordinate clause, what force do the words "well regulated" have? Apparently none over "the people" and their "Arms".

It's a bad sign that the wording of the American second amendment confounds me - bad sign for the constitution, not for me. I have professional experience with euro-legalese and, according to my experience, such syntax does not occur in European English legal texts. Which, imho, is of course a GOOD THING. Europe may suck otherwise for many reasons, but laws have uniform (il)legibility here, instead of haphazard selection of styles more suitable for poetry.


So the arguments go round and round, but the casual link with the phrase "being necessary to the security of a free State" is pretty clear I think (the clue is in the use of the word "being" which points it to being the objective of the whole sentence, not simply one of a list of items).

So, as per you, it would be possible to make out the whole amendment as referring to the security of the incipient state? Does it mean that now, when the state is considered secured by other means, the right of people to bear arms can be gracefully interpreted as obsolete or nearly so?

Re: Gun Control - Should Ordinary Citizens be allowed to Own, Carry, & Use Firearms?

Reply #84
The problem persists:
By degrading "well regulated Militia" into a subordinate clause in the sentence, this interpretation plays entirely into the hands of pro-gunners. When in subordinate clause, what force do the words "well regulated" have? Apparently none over "the people" and their "Arms".

I don't follow your argument. Terms like adjunct clause and subordinate clause are purely syntactic. Such clauses are disposable in the sense that you still have a grammatical sentence without them, not in the sense that they don't affect the meaning.

such syntax does not occur in European English legal texts.

It does not occur in European English legal texts from the second half of the eighteenth century? Moreover, string's link makes a really interesting point:

Quote from: Adam Freedman
The situation was even worse in the law, where a long English tradition held that punctuation marks were not actually part of statutes (and, therefore, courts could not consider punctuation when interpreting them). Not surprisingly, lawmakers took a devil-may-care approach to punctuation. Often, the whole business of punctuation was left to the discretion of scriveners, who liked to show their chops by inserting as many varied marks as possible.


A little bit further in, it also supports my reading:
Quote from: Adam Freedman
Likewise, when the justices finish diagramming the Second Amendment, they should end up with something that expresses a causal link, like: “Because a well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.” In other words, the amendment is really about protecting militias, notwithstanding the originalist arguments to the contrary.


It even closes with a remark I might've made myself: I'm far more disturbed by the seemingly random use of capitalization than about the use of commas.


Re: Gun Control - Should Ordinary Citizens be allowed to Own, Carry, & Use Firearms?

Reply #86

So the arguments go round and round, but the casual link with the phrase "being necessary to the security of a free State" is pretty clear I think (the clue is in the use of the word "being" which points it to being the objective of the whole sentence, not simply one of a list of items).

So, as per you, it would be possible to make out the whole amendment as referring to the security of the incipient state? Does it mean that now, when the state is considered secured by other means, the right of people to bear arms can be gracefully interpreted as obsolete or nearly so?
I see I used the wrong word "casual" in stead of "causal link",  but to answer your question --- Logically, based on the premise I had there, I would say yes, it would be justified to revisit that amendment. But of course that's not going to happen because American thinking and expectations are so polarised and, as we both wrote, the amendment is so badly constructed (mainly punctuated I think)  that it opens the door to all sorts of interpretations and conclusions drawn are often tainted by the preconditioned opinion.

There is a review of Freeman's article here - part way down the page on the right under the title "Supreme Court Affirms Individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms". I don't reference it because it sheds any light but just whimsicality because his phrasing amused me.

As long as the "2nd Amendment" is treated as some sort of Holy Statement by the God of Guns or, conversely, by the God of Peace, I don't think there will be a change.

Re: Gun Control - Should Ordinary Citizens be allowed to Own, Carry, & Use Firearms?

Reply #87

The problem persists:
By degrading "well regulated Militia" into a subordinate clause in the sentence, this interpretation plays entirely into the hands of pro-gunners. When in subordinate clause, what force do the words "well regulated" have? Apparently none over "the people" and their "Arms".

I don't follow your argument. Terms like adjunct clause and subordinate clause are purely syntactic. Such clauses are disposable in the sense that you still have a grammatical sentence without them, not in the sense that they don't affect the meaning.
I was not making an argument. I was asking: What kind of legal bearing does such a syntactic clause usually have? Is there a solid line of interpreting it?

But I got the answer. Looks like the interpretation of the whole amendment should revolve around the "well regulated Militia" bit rather than anything else, but of course pro-gunners construe the second part as a holy human right, to which the wording - the wording of the second part specifically - seems to entitle them, nevermind the first part of the same amendment.

I always felt that the militia part should set stage for the interpretation, but didn't care to dig in the sources to find support or rejection, because I don't like jurisprudence in general and English common law practices in general. Thanks for linking stuff to me :up:

such syntax does not occur in European English legal texts.

It does not occur in European English legal texts from the second half of the eighteenth century?
I meant current EU law in English. Older Anglo-legalese is only of historical interest, which is unfortunately not my area of interest...

Re: Gun Control - Should Ordinary Citizens be allowed to Own, Carry, & Use Firearms?

Reply #88
But I got the answer. Looks like the interpretation of the whole amendment should revolve around the "well regulated Militia" bit rather than anything else, but of course pro-gunners construe the second part as a holy human right, to which the wording - the wording of the second part specifically - seems to entitle them, nevermind the first part of the same amendment.

You might also be interested in this: http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/thom-hartmann/47623/the-second-amendment-was-ratified-to-preserve-slavery

Incidentally, Dutch fire arm laws are based on similarly idiotic rationales: in 1896 carrying weapons around was banned in an effort to prevent poaching, and in 1919 fire arms were made difficult to obtain in order to keep guns, "the revolutionary weapons of choice," out of the hands of Bolshevists. Ergo, Dutch gun restrictions are ab initio bollocks.

Re: Gun Control - Should Ordinary Citizens be allowed to Own, Carry, & Use Firearms?

Reply #89
After removing two commas which are possibly distracting to English people and adding a because for similar reasons, you get something like this: "[Because] A well regulated Militia [is] necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed."


[glow=black,2,300]Bravo ...[/glow] finally a ray of sanity rises above the dark grumbling masses!

 

Re: Gun Control - Should Ordinary Citizens be allowed to Own, Carry, & Use Firearms?

Reply #90
The US of A is the land of adult chidren on guns. They use a war footing at the birth and early years of the country as an excuse for still having the right to bear arms. In the democracies it is the worst in this area as they miss the past and chance to play cowboys and Indians. What the deuce they pay billions for armed forces and armies of police but still need a late 18th/early 19th century to justify their gun craziness is beyond reason. You are hardly safe to go to popular places like shopping centres, cinemas and going to school is a 50-50 chance of mayhem as the nutjobs start younger than most other places. Over 10,00 killed each year and of course the corporate gun lobby and their childish gun toing pals brain us with guns don't kill people do. Well what un-intentionally only backs up what I say about playing cowboys.

Thank heavens we lost the ex-colonies it is a gun crazy lot of head banging numpties.
"Quit you like men:be strong"

Re: Gun Control - Should Ordinary Citizens be allowed to Own, Carry, & Use Firearms?

Reply #91
Thank heavens we lost the ex-colonies.........


Yes, we're all glad your ancestors were thrown out on their miserable kilted (petticoated) asses twice (2x) too!!


                                  

Re: Gun Control - Should Ordinary Citizens be allowed to Own, Carry, & Use Firearms?

Reply #92
Over 10,00 killed each year and of course the corporate gun lobby and their childish gun toing pals brain us with guns don't kill people do. Well what un-intentionally only backs up what I say about playing cowboys.

The trouble with the gun lobby and their Republican buddies is they fail to consider the consequences of legislation. Formerly "law abiding" citizens become murderers because teenagers played music too loud at the service station. Oh yes, Dunn involved the "Stand Your Ground" law, claiming the teens aim a shotgun at him. Of course, there was no shotgun to be found in the teens' car. Some of the unnecessary laws they push open the for people to shot each other on the grounds they feel "threatened." Argument in line at the pizza place, shot. Music too loud and teens refuse to turn it down? Shot dead. Before these laws, no jury in America would convict someone legitimately defending himself.


Re: Gun Control - Should Ordinary Citizens be allowed to Own, Carry, & Use Firearms?

Reply #93
Music too loud and teens refuse to turn it down? Shot dead. Before these laws, no jury in America would convict someone legitimately defending himself.

The jury is having difficulty with this one. It ain't easy, and I'd not like be be among them. It looks like this guy might get off scot-free.

At any rate I'm certain that the intent of the writer was to ensure the right to "keep bare arms."

Re: Gun Control - Should Ordinary Citizens be allowed to Own, Carry, & Use Firearms?

Reply #94
A jury has found Michael Dunn, the Florida man accused of shooting an unarmed teenager to death during a dispute over loud music, guilty of four charges, but the jury was unable to reach a decision on the top count, first-degree murder.

Dunn, who is white, fired 10 shots into an SUV, killing Jordan Davis, 17, who was black. The shooting in a convenience store parking lot in Jacksonville erupted after Dunn asked the teenagers in the vehicle to turn down their music.

Dunn was charged with first-degree murder, three counts of attempted second-degree murder and one count of firing into a vehicle in the Nov. 23, 2012, shooting. The jury couldn’t reach a decision on the first-degree murder charge, but convicted on the other four.

Dunn contended he acted in self-defense. Prosecutors suggested that Dunn, 47, was angry because he was being disrespected by a young black man.....

...... Florida's "stand your ground" law allows the defense to seek a special hearing to receive immunity from prosecution before a trial. Dunn did not choose to go that route, but argued that he had acted in self-defense because he thought there was a weapon in the car and he feared for his life........

......Dunn was remanded to the custody of authorities. Sentencing, which could total as much as 75 years in prison, was set for around March 24.


Nothing needs to be changed .... the laws on the books were properly enforced ....

The law (attempted murder) was obviously broken, law enforcement charged the law breaker, a jury of his peers overwhelmingly agreed with the charges (4 of 5) -- against the direct testimony of the defense -- justice was/will be served ..... the beat goes on.


                                                   



 

Re: Gun Control - Should Ordinary Citizens be allowed to Own, Carry, & Use Firearms?

Reply #96
looks like we are going to get a very long repeat and circles like in the Opera Forum.  Any wide country would not want to copy and live like the US of A. They are too busy missing wanting to be Wild West cowboys but they do partially well killing around 10,000 of each other annually. And all based on a thinking rooted in the past. Talk about immature childishness. The right to bear arms leans more towards a war footing and with the damn place spending half the world's military budget why do they want to use a long time ag attitude for now? Audy Murphy, John Wayne and Hollywood have a lot to answer for but when you get a nation that can be so brained not surprising there are so many nut jobs.Indeed I wouldn't give so many ex-colonists the chance to carry a water pistol never mind what they do have. Keep on shooting each other as a right by all means.
"Quit you like men:be strong"

Re: Gun Control - Should Ordinary Citizens be allowed to Own, Carry, & Use Firearms?

Reply #97
.........killing around 10,000 of each other annually. And all based on a thinking rooted in the past.


Our great land & our Constitution has survived for well over 230 years, & will survive that again irregardless of the difficulties associated with our right to our type of freedoms......irrespective of your want, need, or desire to argue our future.

If we choose to kill ourselves with automobiles, recreational vehicles, firearms, or by any other means of choice, we freely understand & accept that freedom is not free.

There are costs -- prices to pay, & as a people it is us that live & die with them. Your prospective of our way of life ends at the loudness of your voice --- your free speech ends at our ear.

Americans do not need,  want, nor seek your individual or collective European indulgence to continue our chosen American ways of life.

That said, & all aside,    RJ, you old piece of dog kibble ..... welcome to [glow=green,2,300]DnD.[/glow] Took you long enough....

Re: Gun Control - Should Ordinary Citizens be allowed to Own, Carry, & Use Firearms?

Reply #98

If we choose to kill ourselves with automobiles, recreational vehicles, firearms, or by any other means of choice, we freely understand & accept that freedom is not free.

Freedom to kill. Love it so much that you are ready to die for it. So noble that everyone must look up to you...

Re: Gun Control - Should Ordinary Citizens be allowed to Own, Carry, & Use Firearms?

Reply #99
In fact, justice hasn't been done. Michael Dunn was found guilty on 3 accounts of attempted murder, but a mistrial was declared on the actual murder charge. When you pass all these "Stand Your Ground" laws, what happens is the people start to feel empowered to shot and kill others because they feel "threatened." What is the Old West when everybody has to carry a pistol against perceived threats? Anyway, the NRA wants to increase gun ownership so they get more dues paying members. It's not about freedom at all, it's about the almighty dollar. They're corrupt and in bed with Republican politicians right down to their rotten core.

Mr. Howie, don't let people like the NRA leadership distort your picture of America. Every country has screwball minority opinions, even yours.