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What does the Second Amendment really mean?

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  • #46
    Going to the link of the original gov't. document, a study of the ATF by the GAO:
    GAO recommends that ATF provide guidance to FFLs participating in A2K on the provision of records to ATF when they go out of business; align system capability with ATF policy to limit access to FRNP firearms purchaser information for ATF agents; and align timing and ATF policy for deleting MS records. ATF concurred with our recommendations.
    http://www.gao.gov/assets/680/678091.pdf
    If the ATF concurs but fails to comply? The GOP dominates both houses of Congress, and it can prohibit the ATF from gaining access to data if it fails to comply. If the ATF demonstrates it needs access, it can petition a judge on a case-by-case basis. When ATF administration complains, Congress can restore funding for access on the condition ATF administration has reassigned or ended the careers of ATF officials who were abusing the record-keeping/access requirements.

    They have the GAO study. Have the 2nd amendment advocates in Congress taken specific action to correct ATF abuse, or are they satisfied to perpetuate the abuse, as an excuse to do nothing? Since their claim to fame is "gov't. is the problem", I'll take answer "B": They will do nothing except use the abuse, as an excuse.
    Last edited by CYDdharta; 10-07-2016, 05:29 AM. Reason: fixed quote

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    • #47
      Originally posted by radcentr View Post
      Going to the link of the original gov't. document, a study of the ATF by the GAO:
      GAO recommends that ATF provide guidance to FFLs participating in A2K on the provision of records to ATF when they go out of business; align system capability with ATF policy to limit access to FRNP firearms purchaser information for ATF agents; and align timing and ATF policy for deleting MS records. ATF concurred with our recommendations.
      http://www.gao.gov/assets/680/678091.pdf
      If the ATF concurs but fails to comply? The GOP dominates both houses of Congress, and it can prohibit the ATF from gaining access to data if it fails to comply. If the ATF demonstrates it needs access, it can petition a judge on a case-by-case basis. When ATF administration complains, Congress can restore funding for access on the condition ATF administration has reassigned or ended the careers of ATF officials who were abusing the record-keeping/access requirements.

      They have the GAO study. Have the 2nd amendment advocates in Congress taken specific action to correct ATF abuse, or are they satisfied to perpetuate the abuse, as an excuse to do nothing? Since their claim to fame is "gov't. is the problem", I'll take answer "B": They will do nothing except use the abuse, as an excuse.
      The ATF is under the Executive Branch. The only power Congress has over the ATF is their budget and Republicans have been quite unwilling to use the power of the budget to enforce the laws of the land. Their primary goal is to not rock the boat and just get reelected. These rogue government agencies are pretty much free to do as they choose.
      Last edited by CYDdharta; 10-07-2016, 05:31 AM. Reason: fixed quote

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      • #48
        Originally posted by radcentr View Post
        Going to the link of the original gov't. document, a study of the ATF by the GAO:

        http://www.gao.gov/assets/680/678091.pdf
        If the ATF concurs but fails to comply? The GOP dominates both houses of Congress, and it can prohibit the ATF from gaining access to data if it fails to comply. If the ATF demonstrates it needs access, it can petition a judge on a case-by-case basis. When ATF administration complains, Congress can restore funding for access on the condition ATF administration has reassigned or ended the careers of ATF officials who were abusing the record-keeping/access requirements.

        They have the GAO study. Have the 2nd amendment advocates in Congress taken specific action to correct ATF abuse, or are they satisfied to perpetuate the abuse, as an excuse to do nothing? Since their claim to fame is "gov't. is the problem", I'll take answer "B": They will do nothing except use the abuse, as an excuse.

        The GOP doesn't dominate the mainstream media which would crucify them for withholding funding from a law enforcement agency, and they have no influence with on the White House which has provided cover for the agency's rogue actions. That assumes the case doesn't come before one of Obama's activist judge appointees who wouldn't stop it anyway. Regardless, what would stop it if and when the GOP is a minority in one or both houses?

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        • #49
          Originally posted by OldmanDan View Post

          The ATF is under the Executive Branch. The only power Congress has over the ATF is their budget and Republicans have been quite unwilling to use the power of the budget to enforce the laws of the land. Their primary goal is to not rock the boat and just get reelected. These rogue government agencies are pretty much free to do as they choose.
          In part you have a valid point, being the Executive controls the operations of the ATF. But the GOP not wanting to "rock the boat" in order to get re-elected? They are probably losing seats because they didn't rock the boat efficiently enough. That is, if they had cut the budget based on specific violations of law/constitutional limits, it would have gained votes from their base as well as independents. Even if they had maintained the budget, but attached an independent "nanny" to control who got access to firearms records, who also publicly nagged ATF administration for failing to restrict or delete records on schedule. They would have "lost votes", you say? I argue the contrary.

          The budget punishment option was the best and -arguably- only option the GOP had to sell their platform to independents, and keep their base. Only option, since they weren't going to deal with Dems to pass new legislation or reform the current legal/tax code. Argue that it was the Dems who wouldn't deal, but obstructionism was the result all the same. The GOP option was to privatize gov't. services, in itself not a bad idea for a few services, until we realized the GOP was talking about privatizing to favor the for profit sector.

          This goes full circle to the lie that the GOP would make gov't. more efficient and less corrupt. From the inside, they proved that they weren't interested in forcing efficiency even when they held the purse strings (and/or the WH). From the outside, they proved they were mostly interested in passing out favors to their friends in the for-profit, private sector.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by radcentr View Post

            In part you have a valid point, being the Executive controls the operations of the ATF. But the GOP not wanting to "rock the boat" in order to get re-elected? They are probably losing seats because they didn't rock the boat efficiently enough. That is, if they had cut the budget based on specific violations of law/constitutional limits, it would have gained votes from their base as well as independents. Even if they had maintained the budget, but attached an independent "nanny" to control who got access to firearms records, who also publicly nagged ATF administration for failing to restrict or delete records on schedule. They would have "lost votes", you say? I argue the contrary.

            The budget punishment option was the best and -arguably- only option the GOP had to sell their platform to independents, and keep their base. Only option, since they weren't going to deal with Dems to pass new legislation or reform the current legal/tax code. Argue that it was the Dems who wouldn't deal, but obstructionism was the result all the same. The GOP option was to privatize gov't. services, in itself not a bad idea for a few services, until we realized the GOP was talking about privatizing to favor the for profit sector.

            This goes full circle to the lie that the GOP would make gov't. more efficient and less corrupt. From the inside, they proved that they weren't interested in forcing efficiency even when they held the purse strings (and/or the WH). From the outside, they proved they were mostly interested in passing out favors to their friends in the for-profit, private sector.
            If the Republicans had used the power of the budget to control the ATF and the Democrats fought it until there was a government shutdown, the MSM would demonize the GOP as they did the last time the government shut down and Obama closed national parks that were never staffed by anyone.

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            • #51
              The parks were being run as mandated. The ATF was not, as far as records and restrictions go. The critical point is to consistently put the hammer down on failing to follow the law, even if that means a pet project for the GOP (read, military budget). Hammer only the failure to follow legislation or constitution in a particular agency.

              Problem with the Parks vs. ATF argument, in this case, is that the GOP Congress tried to make an across-the-board cut, rather than a targeted attack on lack of gov't. discipline in a specific agency. Gave the WH a wide-open opportunity to enforce one (budget) but not the other, thus playing the public and media against the GOP.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by radcentr View Post

                In part you have a valid point, being the Executive controls the operations of the ATF. But the GOP not wanting to "rock the boat" in order to get re-elected? They are probably losing seats because they didn't rock the boat efficiently enough. ...
                Or they are losing because they rocked the boat too much to the point of being seen as obstructionist.

                Either way I'm happy because they are losing seats.

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by RDK View Post

                  The second amendment is a very poorly worded clause. It appears to mix up a collective right (a well-regulated militia) with an individual right (the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed).

                  It was not until after the turn of this millennium that there was a Supreme Court ruling that held the individual aspect of this amendment.

                  I feel that the amendment is both an individual and a collective right.

                  Anyone in the USA can own and carry any weapon of any nature in any manner in any public place that they want. This is not restricted to US citizens. The constitution uses the term citizen to apply to rights that only citizens can have (right to vote for example) but uses the term person/people to refer to everyone inside the USA.

                  All gun laws, requirements for permit checks, restrictions on concealed carry etc. are unconstitutional.

                  Further they have the right to gather in armed parties or militias anytime they want, with any weapons that they desire on any public place that they desire.

                  Only on private land can the owner place restrictions. Just as a land owner can ban smoking, chewing bubble gum or anything else he can ban gun possession.

                  Use of the weapon can be regulated, no shooting inside city limits or using the gun in a threatening manner. However the simple peaceful possession of the weapon is wide open to everyone inside the borders of the USA.

                  And by weapons I include everything, 50 cal with large mags, high rate cyclical fire compact CQB weapons pistols of all shapes sizes capacities. Everything wide open.


                  This is course unworkable and will lead to much higher gun involved violence but it would also lead to some sensible gun laws being enacted and enforced. Possession of hunting weapons by trained qualified hunters with restrictions on the use storage and carrying of them during and outside of hunting seasons for example.

                  Restrictions on side arms to only people with the background, training and qualifications to have and carry them would be another example.

                  My only real question is how many people would have to die before the American right saw how absurd the literal interpretation of the second amendment would be. How would the racial mixture of the dead and injured impact the number?
                  RDK, the basic flaw in your analysis is the very notion of a "collective right", there was no such concept in the thoughts of the founders. All rights were those of individuals. While some of those rights necessarily encompassed the idea of groups of individuals exercising their individual rights in concert with one another, the idea that there were rights associated with groups, but not with individuals is ridiculous.

                  Second, it ignores the tradition of perambulatory clauses, which state a general principle, followed by an active clause. In the case of the second amendment, the "militia" was not the equivalent of the modern national guard (a false comparison frequently made be liberals), it was recognized as all able-bodied men. So, let's look at the entire amendment in historical (and grammatical context:

                  "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed"

                  The clause "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State" is a perambulatory clause, it expresses the reason for codifying the subsequently identified (and pre-existing) right in the Federal Constitution. It, in an of itself, neither restricts nor expands the subsequently identified right.

                  The phrase "security of a free State", this is an important part of the perambulatory clause, in that it refers not only to the security of the State, but the security of a FREE State. We must never forget that this amendment was put in place by a nation that had just fought an armed rebellion against its sovereign government. So, whether you think doing so today is or is not a rational notion, that does not change the fact that the assurance of an armed populous was not significantly intended as a guard against potential tyranny of our own government is naןve and ignorant of basic history. The purpose of a well armed citizenry was not only to guard against external threats to our nation, but the threat of domestic tyranny as well.

                  Final point on the perambulatory clause, it was deemed important that while the subsequent active clause was codifying the right of the people to keep and bear arms from Federal interference, it was deemed important to indicate that the amendment did not, as a result, limit the powers to regulate and call forth the militia granted in the original (and already ratified) text of the Constitution. You always need to bear in mind that one of the primary objections to a Bill of Rights on the part of the Federalists was that the deemed it superfluous...that the system of government they were establishing was one of clearly limited enumerated powers, none of which empowered the federal government to impinge on these rights, and that the inclusion of a list of particular rights might be erroneously construed to mean that those rights not listed, were subject to restriction by the federal government (this concern was the purpose of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments). With that proper understanding, the federal power to regulate the militia was a proscriptive, but not restrictive one. The Federal government could require able-bodied men have weapons, be trained in their use, specify the types of arms that they were required to posses (generally provided by the state), but it could not proscribe them from owning weapons (including other weapons outside those required for the militia). To illustrate this, say the federal government were to impose uniform requirements/standards for the militia (which it could do), the requirement that everyone have combat suitable boots is within that power, banning them from ALSO having sneakers is not within the scope of that power (though when they are called up to service, during that period they may be restricted to those required for the militia).

                  Now we come to the operative clause, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed". THE right of the people. Both grammatically (THE versus A) and any reasonable understanding of the historical context show clearly that this amendment was codifying what was accepted to be a pre-existing right, not creating some newly defined one.

                  Next, "the people", one of the most ancient and basic principles of grammar and construction of legal texts (because it is such a basic rule of grammar) is that, unless otherwise clearly indicated , the same words in a particular text bear the same meaning in their usage throughout that text. "The people" referred to in the second amendment means the same thing it does elsewhere in the Constitution.

                  Now, one could argue that it is a valid exercise of federal power to require every citizen to be properly trained in the use of firearms deemed necessary for purposes of a well-regulated (which included trained) militia, but I doubt liberals would go for that!

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