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What counts as 'Arms' ?

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  • What counts as 'Arms' ?

    Ive been following the recent arguments about gun control back and forth and no one has asked what seems to me to be a fairly obvious question namely: what actually counts as an 'Arm' ?

    I'll give you two extremes. Firstly even if every gun in the USA was banned your right to keep and bear arms would not be infringed. As long as you could step out the door with a longbow, some bodkin arrows and a good fighting knife you'd be bearing arms. The constitution doesn't guarantee you the right to specific kinds of arms does it ? Just the general notion of arms. Many people here have stated that other kinds of weapons are just as dangerous as guns, so surely a bow and arrow will suffice ?

    At the other extreme surely the fact that you can't own a suitcase nuke is an infringement of your second amendment rights ? After all it's an arm ( weapon ), you can bear it ( carry it ) and therefore on a strict reading of the 2nd amendment you should be allowed to own it ?. One of the arguments I've seen advanced for the private ownership of weapons is the prevention of a tyrannical government. Such a government will of course have access to armoured vehicles, artillery, aircraft and so on. You will need weapons to combat these. Surely then you should have the right to own Stinger AA missiles. LAW's, satchel charges, grenades and yes suitcase nukes ( after all the tyrannical government will have them )all of the above are arms and you can bear or carry all of them

    So what counts as 'arms' then ?

  • #2
    Re: What counts as 'Arms' ?

    Originally posted by Agentorange View Post
    Ive been following the recent arguments about gun control back and forth and no one has asked what seems to me to be a fairly obvious question namely: what actually counts as an 'Arm' ?

    I'll give you two extremes. Firstly even if every gun in the USA was banned your right to keep and bear arms would not be infringed. As long as you could step out the door with a longbow, some bodkin arrows and a good fighting knife you'd be bearing arms. The constitution doesn't guarantee you the right to specific kinds of arms does it ? Just the general notion of arms. Many people here have stated that other kinds of weapons are just as dangerous as guns, so surely a bow and arrow will suffice ?

    At the other extreme surely the fact that you can't own a suitcase nuke is an infringement of your second amendment rights ? After all it's an arm ( weapon ), you can bear it ( carry it ) and therefore on a strict reading of the 2nd amendment you should be allowed to own it ?. One of the arguments I've seen advanced for the private ownership of weapons is the prevention of a tyrannical government. Such a government will of course have access to armoured vehicles, artillery, aircraft and so on. You will need weapons to combat these. Surely then you should have the right to own Stinger AA missiles. LAW's, satchel charges, grenades and yes suitcase nukes ( after all the tyrannical government will have them )all of the above are arms and you can bear or carry all of them

    So what counts as 'arms' then ?
    Well, I suppose under the context of its intended meaning, it would be armament on par with the military that could act autonomous from other support. That is an individual's piece of equipment, not dependent on any outside support. Typically found in an armory; thus arms.


    Typically weapons manufactures refer there products as arms, and even incorporate the term arms in there name.
    Here are but a few:
    Century International Arms
    Olympic Arms
    Bond Arms Derringers | The Smallest Most Powerful Personal Protection You Can Carry
    Vector Arms - AK's and UZI's that no one can beat!

    A dictionary search reveals this:

    arms [ɑːmz]
    pl n
    1. (Military / Firearms, Gunnery, Ordnance & Artillery) weapons collectively See also small arms
    2. (Military) military exploits prowess in arms
    3. (History / Heraldry) the official heraldic symbols of a family, state, etc., including a shield with distinctive devices, and often supports, a crest, or other insignia
    bear arms
    a. (Military) to carry weapons
    b. (Military) to serve in the armed forces
    c. (History / Heraldry) to have a coat of arms
    (Military)
    in or under arms armed and prepared for war
    (Military)
    lay down one's arms to stop fighting; surrender
    (Military)
    present arms Military
    a. a position of salute in which the rifle is brought up to a position vertically in line with the body, muzzle uppermost and trigger guard to the fore
    b. the command for this drill
    (Military)
    take (up) arms to prepare to fight
    to arms! arm yourselves!
    up in arms indignant; prepared to protest strongly
    [from Old French armes, from Latin arma; see arm2]

    On another note, I had an issue in California regarding scuba diving and the California fish and game. It turns out that in their litany of regulations and ordinances, they are very strict about abalone and scallop taking. You are allowed to take abalone only free diving and with an abalone bar that has no sharp edges and must be, I believe, something like at least 1.5 in wide. No modifying of any kind to the abalone bar is allowed, punishable by death.

    Scallop, on the other hand, can only be taken without using an abalone bar, dive knife is ok. Problem is the Dept. of Fish and Game failed to define what a dive knife was.

    I made my own long dive knife that would withstand prying, yet had sharp edges on both sides. In order to not get in trouble having potentially a modified abalone bar, I stamped the words DIVE KNIFE right on the blade.

    I was approached by Fish and game at one point and was called out on this very issue. I was accused of taking scallops with a modified abalone bar. I quickly explained that what I was using was a dive knife, a rather large dive knife. He wasn't buying it until I showed him that the manufacturer even stated it as such by showing him the stamp. He said this looks like you made it. I said, why yes I did. And as the manufacturer I have also defined it as a knife. And so it is.

    מה מכילות החדשות?


    • #3
      Re: What counts as 'Arms' ?

      Originally posted by Agentorange View Post
      At the other extreme surely the fact that you can't own a suitcase nuke is an infringement of your second amendment rights ? After all it's an arm ( weapon ), you can bear it ( carry it ) and therefore on a strict reading of the 2nd amendment you should be allowed to own it ? One of the arguments I've seen advanced for the private ownership of weapons is the prevention of a tyrannical government. Such a government will of course have access to armoured vehicles, artillery, aircraft and so on. You will need weapons to combat these. Surely then you should have the right to own Stinger AA missiles. LAW's, satchel charges, grenades and yes suitcase nukes ( after all the tyrannical government will have them )all of the above are arms and you can bear or carry all of them.
      This section describes what "arms" are, and it explains why the Constitution guarantees our right to them.

      The only exception I take with your comment is what I bolded. The Constitution does not guarantee just the right to arms you can "bear", but also arms you might want to "keep".

      Constitutionally I have the right not just to "suitcase" nukes, or to weapons that can combat armoured vehicles, artillery, or aircraft, but to any kind of nuke I might want and to my own armoured vehicles, artillery, or aircraft.

      I may not be able to "bear" an M1A1 Main Battle Tank or a W78/Mk12A Minuteman III missile, but if I have have the resources to acquire one I should have the right to "keep" it.
      Last edited by soot; 12-20-2012, 01:18 PM.

      מה מכילות החדשות?


      • #4
        Re: What counts as 'Arms' ?

        Originally posted by Agentorange View Post
        Ive been following the recent arguments about gun control back and forth and no one has asked what seems to me to be a fairly obvious question namely: what actually counts as an 'Arm' ?

        I'll give you two extremes. Firstly even if every gun in the USA was banned your right to keep and bear arms would not be infringed. As long as you could step out the door with a longbow, some bodkin arrows and a good fighting knife you'd be bearing arms. The constitution doesn't guarantee you the right to specific kinds of arms does it ? Just the general notion of arms. Many people here have stated that other kinds of weapons are just as dangerous as guns, so surely a bow and arrow will suffice ?

        At the other extreme surely the fact that you can't own a suitcase nuke is an infringement of your second amendment rights ? After all it's an arm ( weapon ), you can bear it ( carry it ) and therefore on a strict reading of the 2nd amendment you should be allowed to own it ?. One of the arguments I've seen advanced for the private ownership of weapons is the prevention of a tyrannical government. Such a government will of course have access to armoured vehicles, artillery, aircraft and so on. You will need weapons to combat these. Surely then you should have the right to own Stinger AA missiles. LAW's, satchel charges, grenades and yes suitcase nukes ( after all the tyrannical government will have them )all of the above are arms and you can bear or carry all of them

        So what counts as 'arms' then ?
        (My emphasis)

        No, & no. They're called - metaphorically - suitcase nukes. But they're actually the size of steamer trunks, & they are not man-portable - unless you happen to be the Hulk (the Marvel comic book character, not the wrestler). See any reference you like for a description of the weapon.

        Portability aside, our deal with government is that we assign legitimate violence to the state - police, military, etc. - & even a tactical nuke would be well beyond an eye for an eye. That rises to the level of making war, & that is also reserved to Congress - or since CIA went berserk in the '50's, to @ least the Executive branch. As for all the other hardware & weapons systems listed - no, the feds can & do regulate crew-served weapons & above.

        What the framers had in mind - I assume - were the personal weapons - musket, powerderhorn, shot, some kind of dagger. The modern militia can have much better arms, but it takes a lot of training & practice to integrate the full panoply of weaponry without harming your own side. I'd leave the bigger toys to the experts.

        מה מכילות החדשות?


        • #5
          Re: What counts as 'Arms' ?

          Originally posted by soot View Post
          ......

          Constitutionally I have the right not just to "suitcase" nukes, or to weapons that can combat armoured vehicles, artillery, or aircraft, but to any kind of nuke I might want and to my own armoured vehicles, artillery, or aircraft.

          ......
          At the time of writing the Second Amendment ARMS refereed to things that were man portable and shot projectiles that were themselves inert. i.e. guns shooting bullets.

          Explosives and non man portable guns (i.e. cannons) were referred to as ordnance.

          So in the usage of the time that it was written, it refers to guns, firearms etc and not suitcase nukes or M1A1 tanks.

          מה מכילות החדשות?


          • #6
            Re: What counts as 'Arms' ?

            Originally posted by RDK View Post
            At the time of writing the Second Amendment ARMS refereed to things that were man portable and shot projectiles that were themselves inert. i.e. guns shooting bullets.

            Explosives and non man portable guns (i.e. cannons) were referred to as ordnance.

            So in the usage of the time that it was written, it refers to guns, firearms etc and not suitcase nukes or M1A1 tanks.
            Had they intended it to mean muzzle loaders only, I'm sure they would have stated so.

            מה מכילות החדשות?


            • #7
              Re: What counts as 'Arms' ?

              Originally posted by OldmanDan View Post
              Had they intended it to mean muzzle loaders only, I'm sure they would have stated so.
              Freedom of the press applies to the internet. Freedom of speech applies to photography, and thus porn. Freedom of religion applies to scientology. Social security hearings can be held over the phone satisfying due process.

              The constitution is timeless, and irrespective of technology. A horse and cart fulfills the same function as a car as a self driving hovervehicle. Thus, a right to travel written by a man driving a horse and cart would apply to his great great grandson driving a car, and that grandsons grandson in the hovercar.

              As the purpose and for that matter function of an arm has not changed, an object that fulfills the same function is protected, regardless of the technological sophistication.

              It seems that the founding fathers felt that when you leave people free to do as they will, most will do the right thing with that freedom. That constitution has worked pretty good so far.

              And you can buy an f16. Last I checked, they cost around 8 mil. I'm not sure about arming the thing, but, you can own one. A tank too I think.

              מה מכילות החדשות?


              • #8
                Re: What counts as 'Arms' ?

                Originally posted by OldmanDan View Post
                Had they (2nd amendment) intended it to mean muzzle loaders only, I'm sure they would have stated so.
                (My parenthesis & emphasis)

                In speaking of militia, the state & feds were referring to the obligation of every male citizen of age & good health to arm himself - musket or rifle, powder, shot. The key is militia - they were meant to hold the line temporarily, while the regulars mustered. In point of fact, because guns were relatively expensive, the militia were typically short-handed. In times of war, the states could only with difficulty muster the militiamen they were committed on paper to provide. Provisioning, feeding, housing, medical care, transportation, signals, scouting - all the minutia of troops in the field - were duties of the states that raised the militia. If you look @ the records from the Revolutionary War, or any of the smaller actions that militia were involved in, you'll see the headaches attendant on raising & sustaining militia in the field.

                The modern national guards & reserves - in terms of equipment, doctrine, unified training, specialized support - arty, comms, medical, shelter, resupply, air support & on & on - are in much better shape than the militias then.

                מה מכילות החדשות?


                • #9
                  Re: What counts as 'Arms' ?

                  Originally posted by Agentorange View Post
                  Ive been following the recent arguments about gun control back and forth and no one has asked what seems to me to be a fairly obvious question namely: what actually counts as an 'Arm' ?

                  I'll give you two extremes. Firstly even if every gun in the USA was banned your right to keep and bear arms would not be infringed. As long as you could step out the door with a longbow, some bodkin arrows and a good fighting knife you'd be bearing arms. The constitution doesn't guarantee you the right to specific kinds of arms does it ? Just the general notion of arms. Many people here have stated that other kinds of weapons are just as dangerous as guns, so surely a bow and arrow will suffice ?

                  At the other extreme surely the fact that you can't own a suitcase nuke is an infringement of your second amendment rights ? After all it's an arm ( weapon ), you can bear it ( carry it ) and therefore on a strict reading of the 2nd amendment you should be allowed to own it ?. One of the arguments I've seen advanced for the private ownership of weapons is the prevention of a tyrannical government. Such a government will of course have access to armoured vehicles, artillery, aircraft and so on. You will need weapons to combat these. Surely then you should have the right to own Stinger AA missiles. LAW's, satchel charges, grenades and yes suitcase nukes ( after all the tyrannical government will have them )all of the above are arms and you can bear or carry all of them

                  So what counts as 'arms' then ?
                  I am sure that the right to bear arms was a right given to the people as a way to take back their gov't from dictators, tyrants. They didn't say anything about the right to bear arms in order to kill lions and tigers and bears. The founders took for granted the everyday role of firearms in survival in the america of that era. So it seems the 2nd Amendment is put there for a reason other than hunting. And of course the west(anything west of the east coast was the west) was being settled and that meant killing indians when they got indignant about taking their land.

                  Yet the 2nd Amendment was pissed on when the gov't banned fully automatic rifles in the 1930s, for public safety, and police safety. The gangs of the Prohibition were using thompson machine guns and such, outgunning many of the police departments, and for public safety or so they say. Although I am not sure how many innocent people were killed by gangsters during that era.

                  So, taking fully auto arms from the public took away citizens being equal in gun power to anyone that would defend a tyrannical gov't. And the purops of the 2nd amendment was nullified in reality.

                  Now that the gov't got the inequality they wanted, commiting treason upon the constitution, the second step is in process and this has been going on for quite sometime. The citizens lost the fully auto capability but still had semi auto weapons, but the clips were too large. Although outgunned, the gov't needed more inequality. If they couldn't take all weapons, at least they could work to make them as ineffective against modern military rifles as possible. Take away the ability to fire more than 3 shots before reloading.

                  The fact is, while americans still have the right to bear arms, the original intent of the 2nd amendment is dead. The gov't knows it stands no threat from its people, and it is probably better to let some americans own their guns so as to give them the security of an illusion, and to make them think the 2nd amendment is actually being obeyed when in fact it isn't.

                  I believe if the second amendment were intact, it would be legal for citizens to own fully automatic weapons. So at least in so far as rifles they would not be outgunned by the cops or the military. But when our military would be throwing modern weapontry at its citizens, what is the use of the second amendment anyways? It might sound good on paper in in reality it's one helluva joke.

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                  • #10
                    Re: What counts as 'Arms' ?

                    Originally posted by OldmanDan View Post
                    Had they intended it to mean muzzle loaders only, I'm sure they would have stated so.
                    The point i was making was that in the way the terms were used at the time arms referred to man portable weapons that fired inert projectiles. Never said anything about limiting it to muzzle loaders so your pathetic attempt at cute sarcasm falls flat on its face and demonstrates, once again, your inability to understand simple written verbiage and inability to engage in any meaningful debate.

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                    • #11
                      Re: What counts as 'Arms' ?

                      Arms would be any firearm capable of use in the militia. Everytime an anti-gun nut uses the militia argument they may as well punch themselves in the head,members of the militia were supposed to arrive with a weapon they owned, maintained, and trained with not a weapon secured in a government armory. So much for the militia argument telling us we have no right to a weapon in our homes.

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                      • #12
                        Re: What counts as 'Arms' ?

                        Originally posted by RDK View Post
                        The point i was making was that in the way the terms were used at the time arms referred to man portable weapons that fired inert projectiles. Never said anything about limiting it to muzzle loaders so your pathetic attempt at cute sarcasm falls flat on its face and demonstrates, once again, your inability to understand simple written verbiage and inability to engage in any meaningful debate.
                        So, I guess freedom of the press and freedom of speech shouldn't apply to the internet.

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                        • #13
                          Re: What counts as 'Arms' ?

                          Originally posted by OldmanDan View Post
                          So, I guess freedom of the press and freedom of speech shouldn't apply to the internet.
                          You are free to say anything you want to say.

                          I am free to ridicule you.

                          Again you prove my point that you do not understand anything at all.

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                          • #14
                            Re: What counts as 'Arms' ?

                            The Federalist papers covers this issue, I believe, extensively as to its intent. The intent was clearly to have the citizenry armed in the event of attack, to work in conjunction with the standing militia. And, as a deterrent to a tyrannical government.

                            There is a host of governments in the past 100 years that disarmed their citizenry, and then systematically slaughtered them by the tens of millions. Turkey, China, Russia, Germany, Vietnam, Uganda, Rwanda. Now, a disarming government does not a g

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                            • #15
                              Re: What counts as 'Arms' ?

                              Originally posted by Blue Doggy View Post
                              I am sure that the right to bear arms was a right given to the people as a way to take back their gov't from dictators, tyrants. They didn't say anything about the right to bear arms in order to kill lions and tigers and bears. The founders took for granted the everyday role of firearms in survival in the america of that era. So it seems the 2nd Amendment is put there for a reason other than hunting. And of course the west(anything west of the east coast was the west) was being settled and that meant killing indians when they got indignant about taking their land.

                              Yet the 2nd Amendment was pissed on when the gov't banned fully automatic rifles in the 1930s, for public safety, and police safety. The gangs of the Prohibition were using thompson machine guns and such, outgunning many of the police departments, and for public safety or so they say. Although I am not sure how many innocent people were killed by gangsters during that era.

                              So, taking fully auto arms from the public took away citizens being equal in gun power to anyone that would defend a tyrannical gov't. And the purops of the 2nd amendment was nullified in reality.

                              Now that the gov't got the inequality they wanted, commiting treason upon the constitution, the second step is in process and this has been going on for quite sometime. The citizens lost the fully auto capability but still had semi auto weapons, but the clips were too large. Although outgunned, the gov't needed more inequality. If they couldn't take all weapons, at least they could work to make them as ineffective against modern military rifles as possible. Take away the ability to fire more than 3 shots before reloading.

                              The fact is, while americans still have the right to bear arms, the original intent of the 2nd amendment is dead. The gov't knows it stands no threat from its people, and it is probably better to let some americans own their guns so as to give them the security of an illusion, and to make them think the 2nd amendment is actually being obeyed when in fact it isn't.

                              I believe if the second amendment were intact, it would be legal for citizens to own fully automatic weapons. So at least in so far as rifles they would not be outgunned by the cops or the military. But when our military would be throwing modern weapontry at its citizens, what is the use of the second amendment anyways? It might sound good on paper in in reality it's one helluva joke.
                              It is still legal and possible to own a fully automatic weapon. It requires a federal firearm license, and a 200 dollar transfer fee. Furthermore, actual fully automatic firearms are obsolete. The M16A2 and beyond has utilized a 3 shot burst function to save ammunition and maintain control. Modern military tactics, true professionals, have not used spray and pray in some time now.

                              Training and precision beats lots of firepower every time. Just ask al Qaeda.

                              And, if the time for rebellion comes, if our government crosses that line, I seriously doubt well be fighting much of our military. Downside of an all volunteer military (for the tyrants I mean) is that they're quite patriotic, and I doubt too many of them would shoot at American citizens.

                              So don't worry about it. The second amendment still works just fine, and will survive this.

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