Re: Dem member of Congress killed
- From: "RichL" <rpleavitt@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2011 10:30:33 -0500
"Spender" <Spender@xxxxxxxx> wrote in message news:08pii6paodb41kugk5k2147h5j8i4pds6u@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
On Sun, 9 Jan 2011 01:48:46 -0500, "RichL" <rpleavitt@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
When the loyal opposition is depicted in the crosshairs, when people are
encouraged to bring their guns to political rallies, when violence is
advocated, even through exaggeration, as a solution to our political
problems, maybe it's time to have a rational conversation about the elephant
in the room. Maybe it's time to take that mostly-ignored phrase beginning
with "A well regulated Militia..." as if it means something.
So you are calling for the militia to be raised to gun down republicans
and tea partiers. See how such statements can be twisted?
BTW, "A well regulated militia..." is not a phrase that is ignored in the
2nd amendment. It is what it is, a practical example of why the citizens
themselves are free to keep and bear arms. It is a dependent clause. The
existence of the militia depends on the people being armed. The right of
people to be armed does not depend on the existence of the militia, nor
participation in the militia.
That's only a single one of three views on the 2nd amendment that has gained currency over the years. The other two much more strongly recognize the militia as the driving force behind the amendment:
"One interpretation, known to grammarians as a nominative absolute construction, proposes the Second Amendment consists of an opening justification phrase or qualifying clause, followed by a declarative clause where the opening phrase modifies the main clause much as an adjective would modify a noun. Under this interpretation, the opening phrase is considered essential as a pre-condition for the main clause. This was a grammar structure that was common during that era. This grammatical description is considered by some to be consistent with the concept of the Second Amendment as protecting a collective right to firearms for members serving in a select militia.
"Another interpretation holds the Second Amendment contains an opening prefatory or amplifying clause followed by an operative clause. The opening phrase is meant as a non-exclusive example-one of many reasons for the amendment. This interpretation is consistent with the position that the Second Amendment protects a modified individual right. In Heller, the Supreme Court endorsed this description of the Second Amendment. Although the Second Amendment is the only Constitutional amendment with a prefatory clause, such constructions were widely used elsewhere.
"A third interpretation views the first clause as simply explanatory; neither a qualifying nor amplifying clause. So while militia service is the stated justification for protecting the right to keep and bear arms, it is not a pre-condition on that right. Adherents to this interpretation observe that the latter clause of the amendment still guarantees the right to "the people," and, therefore, is not limited to members of a select militia. This style of syntax was common for the time and similar language exists in the Copyright Clause of the U.S. Constitution."
Yes, wikipedia is not to be taken as a trusted *primary* source but the summary in the wiki article is highly enlightening and contains both expanded discussions of and a plethora of references supporting each of these views.
In view of both the intellectual heft of these views and their espousal over the years at various points in our history, to me the Heller interpretation and specifically the absolutism with which it was pronounced by the five-member Majority of the Roberts Court is simply stunning.
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