Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Second Amendment

Amendment II (1791)
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 amendment has been widely, and wildly, interpeted. Most people think that the law means that a person should have the right to have a gun to protect themselves.

When I was a young man everybody had a gun rack in their pick-up truck rear window, the theory being that if it was in plain sight it wasn't a concealed weapon. Most hunters would walk down the street to the sporting goods store with their sidearm on their hip.

An old gentleman that I knew told me once that he thought that the reason that the American Citizen had the right to arm themselves, was to protect themselves against an unreasonable government that got out of the common mans control. Well I guess that there is not much danger of that happening, is there.
Sometimes I think that we are already out-gunned.


Anonymous said...

Interesting Ernie but I'm missing the point.

Kym said...

I remember when we had NRA gun safety classes in Redway school classrooms. I don't imagine that would happen now.

Ernie Branscomb said...

We are brushing up on the constitution, because I haven't studied it in a long time, and I thought that it is timely.

Kym, Back when we knew everybody, and their was a lot of "real" ranching here most people carried guns. They didn't hesitate shooting a predator. Guns didn’t seem that out of place. Now if you see a person packing a gun, it makes you flinch and wonder what is going on.

Anonymous said...

No matter how it has been interpreted in the past, with the Heller decision the Supreme Court of the United States said:
"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."
There ya have it. Now it is beyond me how California can stand a chance upholding their so called 'Assault Weapons' ban and other stupid rules such as the Approved handgun list.
When you ban guns, only criminals will have them leaving the citizen unprotected.
And we all know, when seconds count, the police are only hours away.

Ernie Branscomb said...

In an emergency, you can always depend on the goverment to take care of you. Like they did, and are still doing, in New Orleans, and other places.

I wonder how many people in New Orleans were glad that they had guns, and I wonder how many looters were scared off by the thought that someone might have a gun, and I wonder what would have happened if there was no weapons allowed in new Orleans.

Ernie Branscomb said...

I understand that crazy people shouldn't have guns, and I understand that criminals have given up their right to own weapons, and some people are not competent to handle weapons, but beyond that I would like to see everyone armed.

Let the police start on the folks that shouldn't be packing guns, if they want to take guns away.

Anonymous said...

Back in the old days several of us had gun racks in the back window of our trucks and another gun rack mounted behind the seat. We always had a rifle or two but they were not visable. Also had a rifle setting on the floorboard in case we needed it in a hurry,ya know, coyote or a deer.
I've had lots of guns over the years but never bought one with the thought of shooting someone in self defence or not. This is just my personal thought here, but I almost puke when I see people with assault weapons or shotguns with pistol grips. These are for shooting people and is an image thing. If I ever had to shoot someone my 270 would do just fine.


kaivalya said...

Ernie, you bring up a point I've often pondered...

if the right to bear arms and organized a free militia was to defend ourselves against a rogue government. Then shouldn't we have a right to all of the same arms that the government has? Just to keep the playing field even?

Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. -George Washington

Ernie Branscomb said...

In some counties of the world, you are required as a male citizen to get military training at sixteen, then the male citizen is issued a weapon that they keep until age sixty, at which time they are no longer required to be part of the military. I believe that Sweden is this way, and Switzerland.

I'm not sure about the Arab/Israeli counties, or if they just arm themselves.

I’ve often wondered what kind of a weapon would used against our own forces. I would hope that common sense would prevail before gunfire. But Ruby Ridge and Waco Texas proved that wrong. The Government did show some wisdom in Montana (Colorado?) where they simply out-waited the people that they were after.

Robin Shelley said...

You know by now that I just can't resist the opportunity to be a smart-aleck... sooooo, Ernie.... is Humboldt one of those counties of the world where 16 year old males are required to have military training? I see over at Rose's blog that your DA is pretty well armed.

Anonymous said...

Once when I was 6-7, I saw a man come out of Brown's with a rifle over his shoulder. I was a little surprised when the man took a few steps and without hesitation entered the Bank. As a child I thought he was going to rob the bank , but apparently he just had some business to take care of. Nobody seemed to notice or care.

It makes me wonder if that happened today, would the situation be so nonchalant?

kaivalya said...

Ernie, I know that Israel has mandatory military for male citizens. A Danish friend of mine also had to do military time in Denmark, but he had the option to put his technical skills to use with NATO in Yugoslavia.

However, America is historically different in that the militias aren't necessarily nationalist. Militias are constitutionally empowered to function outside the guise of government. If you travel to our southern border, you can still find some minute men on "active duty".

Ernie Branscomb said...

Robin said: “Humboldt one of those counties of the world where 16 year old males are required to have military training? I see over at Rose's blog that your DA is pretty well armed.”

No Robin. I know that you are being humorous, but we here in Humboldt county are having serious problems with gun control.

What normally happens, is a marijuana garden is raided, guns, money, generators, water tanks and other assets are confiscated, then the case is left “under investigation”, which actually means nothing more is going to be said about it, and nobody will be arrested. There will be no weapons charges, which would normally remove the right of the guilty party to own or posses weapons. So they simply go back, buy more guns, and plant more dope, and here we go again. Unless they are charged with a weapons violation, possessing a weapon is perfectly legal.

After a while it becomes apparent that they don’t want to arrest anybody, they just want the assets. Which in some cases I can understand. The county really doesn’t have the funding to jail people, and the prosecutor won’t try Marijuana cases. But, it still seems to me that they should make gun charges stick.

Instead of taking the guns of people that shouldn’t have them, they are trying to remove everybody’s guns.

Anonymous said...

to anonymous from oregon:

it makes you almost puke when you see people with an assault weapon huh?
what is your definition of an assault weapon?
In oregon you cannot be charged with using or owning an 'assault weapon' theres no legal definition or law against guns that aren't fully automatic. there is also no federal definition of an assault weapon. the feds can't come in and bust you for having an 'assault weapon', theres no law and no definition of what an assault weapon is.
california does have an assault weapons ban and has a legal definition of what one is.

but it makes you wonder.

is a ruger mini-14 chambered in 5.56 with 30 round magazines that much more dangerous than a ar-15 with the same cartridge and same capacity just because the ar-15 has a pistol grip or because its all black and doesnt have a wood stock like the ruger. just because someone thinks it looks scary or evil.
your .270 has much greater power and range than the majority of so called assault weapons.
maybe we should be worried about your hunting rifle.

Ernie Branscomb said...

I think that what Oregon was saying is he doesn't like seeing people buy weapons that are good for nothing but show, or killing people.

His rifle is good for hunting food, but it could be used in self defense if need be.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Ernie.


Carson Park Ranger said...

"I remember when we had NRA gun safety classes in Redway school classrooms."

This was probably a good idea. Kids in rural places will always be exposed to guns and lessons in safety save lives.

The NRA's safety program is good, but their political propaganda is maliciously false. The 2nd Amendment begins with "A well-regulated militia..." It is poorly written, but cannot be interpreted as meaning "every citizen should have access to a dizzying array of powerful, destructive weapons."

If you are worried about defending yourself from the government, we are, as Ernie points out, already outgunned.

Ernie Branscomb said...

The “well regulated militia” that the second amendment speaks of, is considered to be the National Guard of each state, and the Governor of those each states is the Commander of the State Militia. The President of the United states is the Commander in Chief of those militias, and has the authority to send those militias to war to defend the United States.

The “right to bear arms” is an individual right, that has nothing to do with the militia. The right to bear arms, and to defend oneself is guaranteed by the second amendment. Many rulings have been added to the right to bear arms. Most of them seem reasonable. I don’t think that you need a high-yield nuclear weapon to protect your cabin in the woods, though some might argue.

Carson Park Ranger said...

I don't see "individuals" in the amendment.

BCS said...

§ 311. Militia: composition and classes
a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
(b) The classes of the militia are—
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

Anonymous said...

so basically any male between 17 and 45 is part of the militia and their right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
but regardless, the heller decision by the supreme court still said that the 2nd amendment guarantess an individual right.
the militias should be armed the same as the government so as to be able to ovethrow the government when they get out of control.

Ernie Branscomb said...

"the militias should be armed the same as the government so as to be able to ovethrow the government when they get out of control."

From what I read, that was the original intent of the "Well Armed Militia". But never in the framers of the original constitution did they ever imagine the weapons that we wpould have today.

There is a place in the Constitution that they expressed that it should remain dynamic, and never overpower the will of the people. I will discuss that when we get there.

Carson Park Ranger said...

"...the heller decision by the supreme court still said that the 2nd amendment guarantess an individual right."

This was the product of an "activist court" which was "legislating from the bench."