The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

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Mike Travers
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

[b]"Should "Congress" shall make no law" abridging the freedom of speech mean that a law saying I can't be outside of your home at 2 AM with a bullhorn is unconstituional?" [/b]

You can be outside my home with a bullhorn at 2 AM without causing me harm. It's using it at that hour that causes harm. Similarly, discharging a firearm at that hour could be construed as rendering harm, but the simple act of carrying a firearm causes no one any harm. It's not brandishing or threatening I'm talking about, just peacefully carrying. If you don't libel me, you can walk around carrying a laptop all you want to, even though it could be used for libel.

Dan Billings
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

[quote="Mike Travers"]
You can be outside my home with a bullhorn at 2 AM without causing me harm. It's using it at that hour that causes harm. [/quote]

Yes, but keeping me from using the bullhorn limits my speech.

Mike Travers
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

Keeping me from shooting doesn't interfere with my right to [b]keep or bear[/b] arms. No one has an interest in preventing me from keeping or bearing arms. They [b]may[/b], depending on circumstances, have an interest in keeping me from discharging them.

Dan Billings
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

How about this: You can keep and bear all the arms you would like, but you can't go certain places while you are bearing them.

That is very similar to the time, place, and manner limits on speech.

Calvin
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

[size=18]"1935 will go down in history! For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient and the world will follow our lead into the future."[/size]

ADOLF HITLER

landry
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

Scott, is the second Amendent getting lost because We The People keep convicting people of laws which prevent We The People from the peaceful use of firearms?
Bud

Mike Travers
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

[quote="Dan Billings"]How about this: You can keep and bear all the arms you would like, but you can't go certain places while you are bearing them.

That is very similar to the time, place, and manner limits on speech.[/quote]

We limit only speech which has a reasonable expectation of causing harm. No harm can be expected from an inanimate object, safely carried. A reasonable restriction on bearing arms would be something like: you're not allowed to carry with the muzzle pointed at people.

JIMV
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

[quote="Town Manager"]The 2nd ammendment, ratified in 1791 gives Americans the right to bear arms. Now on another thread here, many AMGers said allowing college students in Maine the right to vote was against the Maine constitution since the word Seminary meant college back in the day when Maine's constitution was adopted. Well in my opinion, guns have changed a lot since 1791 and we now need more gun control to protect us from crazy people, not the government.[/quote]

This idea makes a lot of assumptions, both overt and subtle. First, that 'gun control' has in some way worked where tried. According to the definitive study of all gun control efforts done in the USA by the National Acadamy of Science when commissioned by the Clinton administration, there has been no positive effect from any gun control effort tried at all period.

Next, it assumes that the police are the best folk to protect us. This concept is a particuarly pernicious idea. First, can anyone name the mass murder attempt that the police stopped after it started? Next can anyone, in view of Castle Rock v Gonzales, point me to the legal responsibility for the police to actualy protect any individual? No, the police exist to clean up the mess and punish the perp, not stop the crime itself. When they do they do so it is always by accident (dumb or unlucky perp).

Then it assumes that armed citizens are some sort of danger to society or themselves. The studies that exist on this show the opposite. People with CC permits are between 2 and 4 times less likely to commit a violent crime than the general public (only makes sense because unlike the general public, they have to get a background check and demonstrate at least gun safety in most locations).

Lastly, if the police cannot be expected to protect us, and generally don't, and if armed citizens are more likely to be safe and responsible with guns than your post implies, why make them potential victims as well? You are aware that armed citizens stop at the least hundereds of thousands of crimes each and every year?

In summary, if gun control does not work to reduce crime, every, anywhere...why do it? If armed citizens DO stop crimes, why stop them?

Is pissing off gun owners more important than a low crime rate. Is creating potential victims the idea?

JIMV
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

[quote="Joe Redneck"]Didn't we have this discussion previously?? Fact, prior to the first gun control, concealed carry law, men and women carried small pistols concealled. Prior to the Bill of Rights pistols could be carried concealled. Politicians and voters started putting restrictions on carrying concealled weapons. My point has and always will be this [b]just because laws prohibitting cocealed carry,were passed, doesn't mean they could.[/b] You cannot VOTE to take away a Constitutional right without changing the entire Constitution. They (voters and politicians) knowingly or unknowingly violated the Bill of Rights when they infringed on a persons right to carry in any way, shape or form that person chose to carry, whether open or concealed.
Self preservation is a basic human right. I hate that particular phrase but in this case it actually is true. Self preservation is not just basic, it's instinctive.[/quote]

Actually, it worked like this...In the early 1800's, mostly in the 1820-1840 period several states, mostly in the south passed laws that prohibited carrying arems concealed. They did it base on three legal principles:

1. Every state allowed the open carry of arms pretty much without restriction
2. State Constitutions gave the states authority to pass such laws and
Most importantly
3. [b]The second amendment was universally seen as a restraint on the federal government and not the state government[/b]

The court challenges all begin with the stated caveat that the 2nd Amendment simply did not apply so the states were free to do anything at all that their constitution allowed.

The weapons banned were almost always bowie knives and the new percussion pocket pistols.

After the civil war, the societal reason for gun control changed. Again the drive was mostly in the South and efforts were made to prevent blacks and only blacks from getting arms. If armed, they might get uppidy and try to band together in assembly and, heaven forbit, vote. Why the Klan might not be able to control armed blacks. The feds passed the 13th Amendment freeing the slaves, the Civil Rights Act and the Freedman's Act to stop this nonsense. The states ignored it so the Congress passed the 14th Amendment. The courts ignored that.

It took almost 150 years for the South to allow all its citizens to own and carry arms under a single set of laws applied equally. Legal efforts at gun control have been racist from the start.

Town Manager
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

JIMV...in some of the smaller towns without police departments, cc permits are issued without any background check being povided. Towns in Maine can opt to have the State Police perform that function, but it is optional. This is besides the point. I don't have any problems with people owning guns. My family is family of hunters. My father owned several guns. After he passed away, my brother inherited his collecton. The point is, responsible people should own all the guns they want. Responsible people should not have any problems with gun control and background checks and waiting periods because responsible people should want to be as safe as possible. Crazy people should not be able to buy guns as easily as they can.

JIMV
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

[quote="Paul Mattson"][b]reasonable safeguards [/b] ~ Isn't that what Jeff Weinstien was hung for?[/quote]

No, he ws hung for advocating some third party, generally not gun owners, define 'reasonable'.

JIMV
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

[quote="woodcanoe"]The Second Ammendment says the right to keep and bear arms shall not be "infringed".....

The Maine Constitution says it "shall never be questioned"....

What part of either of those would lead one to think that the meaning could be construed as to mean just "sometimes"?[/quote]

Lawyers exist to change 'shall not' into sometimes. It is the business of common folk to prevent the legal community from wandering too far from the Constitution as the politicians won't.

thejohnchapman
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

JIMV:

It was the common folk who elected the officials who put into place the various DC restrictions on firearms, knowing full well that was their platform.

It was lawyers who got it reversed. If it wasn't for lawyers, you could wipe your butt with the fourth amendment. Mike Chitwood's idealogical kindred could kick in your door just in case you did have guns, and you wouldn't be able to do much about it.

If we didn't exist, you'd have to invent us.

JIMV
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

[quote="Dan Billings"][quote="Joe Redneck"]Did'nt we have this discussion previously?? [/quote]

Yes. JIMV, who is a big Second Amendment supporter, has researched this extensively and concluded that the Second Amendment does not prevent regulation of concealed carry.[/quote]

Unfortunately true.

Threre are a few concepts going here.

1. I do not believe the government at any level has the power to preclude the ownership of any pistol, shotgun or rifle.

2. I do not believe the government has the unlimited power to restrict the bearing of those arms openly, though some restrictions might be Constitutional. There is a record of early debate in the states on the limits of such carry with prohibitions in some areas being pretty much agree on, like courts and polling places during elections. Those 'gun free zones' were limited and far between and the right to bear by the citizens was always replaced by a responsibility by the government to provide security.

3. I can find no debate about Concealed carry in the extensive discussions over either the Constitution or the BOR's. I have found discusson in the states using state Constitutions and State law.

Coupled to this, there was extensive discussion at all levels about the militia and it was universally considered that the militia discussed was the body of all able bodied males (today that would be all able bodied citizens) who were to own their own weapons. They were the body of the people found in the second clause of the 2nd.

4. If the founders did not discuss concealed carry while they did discuss aboyut everything else, I find it hard to make a case that they intended the 2nd to protect the practice. States began limiting CC as early as the 1820's, starting in Kentucky I believe.

That moves the issue, in my mind, to a different area. If the practice is not protected, does it make more sense to infringe on peoples desires for and ability to provide self defense then it does to allow the practice?

The effect of 'shall issue' concealed carry is apparent today. After over 20 years of allowing it in state after state, the blood baths and shoot outs promised and predicted by gun control folk have never appeared. In fact, the body of folk with permits produce far fewer violent crimes and crimes in general than the general populace. Ther incident of citizens preventing crimes has gone up and several mass murders have been stopped or limited by armed citizens over the period. In fact, more mass murders have been stopped by armed citizens than police in the early minutes of such shootings. The police are never there, so...In my mind, the more states that allow carry the better for the citizens of those states. I have permits from two states and can carry in over 20.

I even make vacation decisions based on where the states treat me like a responsible adult instead of a walking target.

JIMV
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

[quote="Mike Travers"][quote="Dan Billings"]How about this: You can keep and bear all the arms you would like, but you can't go certain places while you are bearing them.

That is very similar to the time, place, and manner limits on speech.[/quote]

We limit only speech which has a reasonable expectation of causing harm. No harm can be expected from an inanimate object, safely carried. A reasonable restriction on bearing arms would be something like: you're not allowed to carry with the muzzle pointed at people.[/quote]

A very well stated comparison. One confuses the axct with the charracter of the protected right. In speech one is limited as to how it is expressed so as to not infringe on the equal rights of others to be undisturbed. With a gun, if not brandished, it has no effect on others and should be allowed.

The speech equivalent would be between a person on a soapbox ralling about the Presidetn and a person on a soapbox railing about blacks. IN the first case one is expressign protected speech and in the second one is expressing prohibited hate speech. Same act, same location, same time, different words.

With guns, a gun in the pocket is harmless and not a threat to anyone. A gun pointed at another is a threat and can be prohibited.

One does to prohibt that gun in the pocket in order to prevent the possibility of the second...that is where 'reasonable' becomes odious.

JIMV
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

[quote="Town Manager"]JIMV...in some of the smaller towns without police departments, cc permits are issued without any background check being povided. Towns in Maine can opt to have the State Police perform that function, but it is optional. This is besides the point. I don't have any problems with people owning guns. My family is family of hunters. My father owned several guns. After he passed away, my brother inherited his collecton. The point is, responsible people should own all the guns they want. Responsible people should not have any problems with gun control and background checks and waiting periods because responsible people should want to be as safe as possible. Crazy people should not be able to buy guns as easily as they can.[/quote]

The problem with this idea is that it allows others, often folk with a political agenda, to define 'responsible'. For example, you note 'waiting periods'....I have to ask why? The studies of the issue show that waiting periods have no effect on gun crimes, accidents, or suicide at all, or at least none that can be measured. Do you inconvenience hundreds of thousands or millions of folk trying to buy a legal product in the exercise of a constitutional right just to possibly, maybe, prevent an act that may or may not occur. With speech that is called prior restraint and is mostly not allowed.

There is nothing in the Constitution about simple gun ownership being limited to 'responsible' people, defined by political folk who opperate with agenda's. The BOR's was set up to prevent those happly politicians from infringing on certain ideas considered too important for politicians to play with. In my view background checks only barely pass Constitutional muster only because it has been an ages old idea, predating the Constitution, that government has the power to preclude arms to felons and the insane and the instant background check is the only effective method we have to make that check.

If, on the other hand, the background check was used to eliminate any folk who have ever posted or written a political view out of favor of the government, then the check would be unconstitutional.

As to crazy people, that is not the fault of gun control but of crazy control. We have raised the bar on privacy past the point where it protects society. Fix that.

As to no background checks on concealed carry, perhaps there are locations where that is true, but the numbers fo folk getting a permit there are very, very small indeed and again, those folk do not seem to commit many crimes.

Statistically, the saffest place on the planet is not a gun free zone but a room full of folk with CC permits. They are many times less likely to break the law than an auditorium full of normal folk watching a basketball game.

I am also unclear. Are you speaking of 'reasonable' controls on Concealed Carry or on gun purchases in general, two very different things.

JIMV
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

[quote="thejohnchapman"]JIMV:

It was the common folk who elected the officials who put into place the various DC restrictions on firearms, knowing full well that was their platform.

It was lawyers who got it reversed. If it wasn't for lawyers, you could wipe your butt with the fourth amendment. Mike Chitwood's idealogical kindred could kick in your door just in case you did have guns, and you wouldn't be able to do much about it.

If we didn't exist, you'd have to invent us.[/quote]

If it wasn't for lawyers there would be no such a concept as the 'collective right' cobbled together at law schools in the 1920's, and there would be no Roe v Wade invented out of whole cloth, for after all, what is a Judge but a lawyer looking for better working hours and a higher social position? The good that lawyers do is only the mirror of the mischief they do. As long as there are politicians there will be a need for lawyers and as long as lawyers are as self serving as the rest of society, there will be bad lawyers and as long as there are bad lawyers, lawyers will be seen at best as a necessary evil.

You are right, we cannot live with them and cannot live without them.

Perhaps instead of gun control we need 'reasonable, common sense' lawyer control? :wink:

Dan Billings
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

[quote="Mike Travers"]We limit only speech which has a reasonable expectation of causing harm. [/quote]

That is not the test at all. Courts have upheld limits on political speech on public property like airports simply because such places were not traditional public forums. Causing harm is not the test.

Dan Billings
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

JIMV: Thank you for your historical and constitutional perspective.

My main point is this thread is that the gun control debate needs to be won on a policy level. Trying to make everything a constitutional issue is a losing strategy.

JIMV
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

[quote="Dan Billings"][quote="Mike Travers"]We limit only speech which has a reasonable expectation of causing harm. [/quote]

That is not the test at all. Courts have upheld limits on political speech on public property like airports simply because such places were not traditional public forums. Causing harm is not the test.[/quote]

True, I stand corrected, but there is no real downside to such prohibitions. There is always a downside in disarmign citizens...they become helpless.

JIMV
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

[quote="Dan Billings"]JIMV: Thank you for your historical and constitutional perspective.

My main point is this thread is that the gun control debate needs to be won on a policy level. Trying to make everything a constitutional issue is a losing strategy.[/quote]

You are probably right. I believe that many of us, myself included, see efforts at 'reasonable' gun control like some view efforts at reasonable abortion control, as a direct path to abolishment of the idea. The only way to stop such actions is to never let them begin. One gun control action lead to another and then another. If 'and shall not be questioned' can come to mean we will have a few gun control issues in the legislature every year, then what protections do gun owners have but to stop all gun control efforts as early as possible.

Put another way, a policy debate starting from a world of few restrictions in Maine can only lead to a world with more restrictions. Better to not have the debate in the first place. Gun owners have nothing to win and everything to lose.

The gun control types offer nothing in exchange for our rights.

Dan Billings
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

[quote="JIMV"]If 'and shall not be questioned' can come to mean we will have a few gun control issues in the legislature every year, then what protections do gun owners have but to stop all gun control efforts as early as possible.[/quote]

The "shall not be questioned" language was a joke from the start. It was a John Martin trick to help Democrats' in the 80's. He and most of the proponents said the change would not impact any existing gun laws. So what was it intended to do?

JIMV
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

If we rely on the intent of the lawmaker (of founder) than we would not have most fo the gun control laws we do have as little that has been passed would fit the founders views.

Shifting to abortion again, do es anyone think that they would grant a right to do something that they prohibited in every state?

I for one, believe their should be a three tiered test for laws...what does the statute say, what did the drafters intend, and what is the precident. The further we go from what the law says, the poorer the eventual decision.

thejohnchapman
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

"If it wasn't for lawyers there would be no such a concept as the 'collective right' "

If it wasn't for lawyers, the local cop would just backshoot you if he, in his uncontrolled discretion, didn't like you carrying a gun. There would have been no attempt at justification, because it wouldn't have been needed. I have had a few law enforcement clients who have experienced jurisdictions without the rule of law. They tend not to like it, if they encounter it as citizens, and not as wielders of governmental power.

landry
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

I will say again, as long as We The People, keep convicting our friends and neighbors of gun crimes against the state, instead of gun crimes against people and property, the state will keep passing more and more gun crime laws against the state. A hypothectical question. If your neighbor was arrested for concealed carry without a permit, had otherwise committed no crime of any type, would you as a juror, convict him?
Bud

Lucille
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

[quote="thejohnchapman"]"If it wasn't for lawyers there would be no such a concept as the 'collective right' "

If it wasn't for lawyers, the local cop would just backshoot you if he, in his uncontrolled discretion, didn't like you carrying a gun. There would have been no attempt at justification, because it wouldn't have been needed. I have had a few law enforcement clients who have experienced jurisdictions without the rule of law. They tend not to like it, if they encounter it as citizens, and not as wielders of governmental power.[/quote]

John, I'm sure it wasn't Jim's intention to generalize about lawyers. Just as it's true that not all teachers are left-wing indoctrinators, it's also true that not all lawyers are shysters. However, that does not delete the fact that there ARE left-wing indoctrinators in schools, just as there ARE shysters in the courts.

One thing does not supercede the other. Unfortunately.

MikeL
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

[quote="landry"]If your neighbor was arrested for concealed carry without a permit, had otherwise committed no crime of any type, would you as a juror, convict him?[/quote]
Suppose your neighbor discharged a weapon out his kitchen window to dispatch a rabid skunk. So far it's just a [b][i]crime against the state[/i][/b]. Suppose further that another neighbor's small child was playing outside near by, was terrified by the shot, ran into the road and was taken out by an innocent driver, not speeding or otherwise breaking any laws. In this [b][i]hypothetical[/i][/b] scenario, would you continue to be eager, as a juror, to absolve your neighbor of any responsibility for this [b][i]victimless[/i][/b] crime?

Mark T. Cenci
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

[quote="Dan Billings"]JIMV: Thank you for your historical and constitutional perspective.

My main point is this thread is that the gun control debate needs to be won on a policy level. Trying to make everything a constitutional issue is a losing strategy.[/quote]

Agree with that. Maybe it needs to win by increasing the understanding that more people are more safe when more responsible people are bearing arms.

Mark T. Cenci
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

[quote="MikeL"][quote="landry"]If your neighbor was arrested for concealed carry without a permit, had otherwise committed no crime of any type, would you as a juror, convict him?[/quote]
Suppose your neighbor discharged a weapon out his kitchen window to dispatch a rabid skunk. So far it's just a [b][i]crime against the state[/i][/b]. Suppose further that another neighbor's small child was playing outside near by, was terrified by the shot, ran into the road and was taken out by an innocent driver, not speeding or otherwise breaking any laws. In this [b][i]hypothetical[/i][/b] scenario, would you continue to be eager, as a juror, to absolve your neighbor of any responsibility for this [b][i]victimless[/i][/b] crime?[/quote]

Interesting question.

But I think the rabid skunk posed more of an immediate threat to the small child than either the firearm or the vehicle.

Chances are better than 50/50 I would vote to aquit on all charges.

Butch Moore
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

[quote="MikeL"]
Suppose your neighbor discharged a weapon out his kitchen window to dispatch a rabid skunk. So far it's just a [b][i]crime against the state[/i][/b]. [/quote]

As far as I know, this wouldn't be a crime of any kind.

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