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May 14, 2006

Comments

It seems odd to read that tanks trump, considering the situation in Iraq. There is a tendency to use absolutes in this type of example, is the idea that an armed citizenry would overthrow the government or is it that they would make it pointlessly expensive to go to that point. It is always a good idea to remember that power and wealth are inextricably entwined and wealth does not like the idea of 155mm tank shells going into it's valuable property.

I really do not quite understand your grammar lesson, there is no "therefore" in the 2nd, there is exactly one declarative statement and it is the one you object to. I wonder how the 1st would fare with your analysis, not well.

What it actually comes down to is that you are quite willing to infringe upon guaranteed Rights in search of your version of security, how is it exactly that you differ from GWB and his ilk? Your arguments are identical and your disdain for the citizens of the US is evident. I will point out to you that most violent clashes in this country have been the outcome of the 1st A, including lynchings of blacks. Frankly, freedom of speech, religion, and assembly seem more dangerous, but then, I don't advocate their restriction.

Chuck

First, Chuck, let me say that if I lived in the 2nd Congressional District, and if you were to win the Democratic primary tomorrow, I'd vote for you over Walden in a heartbeat.

I understand your need, running from a rural district, to stand up for the "right" of individual citizens to "keep and bear arms." I just don't think it's a Constitutional right. Furthermore it's silly to claim that first amendment rights, pretty clearly aticulated compared to the muddled syntax of the 2nd amendment, are dangerous.

As for the grammar lesson, the 2nd amendment, in its entirety, IS a declarative sentence. It's also a complex, inverted sentence with at least two "embedded" subordinate ideas, one of which has been "transformed" into an intriguing participial phrase -"being necessary to the security of a free state"-- referring to a "well-regulated militia," the second embedded idea.

It's far from clear, to me and others, that the amendment confers on individuals the right to own and use weapons without strict governmental oversight.

I suppose it would be pointless to refer you to the DOJ's one hundred odd page document tracing the history of the concept, the semantics and social history of the period of authorship (followed by an unreasonable number of pages of sources for footnotes). The 4th A is also troubled with certain hedge words like "unreasonable", allowing people of GWB's persuasion to take the stance that reasonable is whatever they say it is. The authors intended no such thing, but modern revisionists aren't bothered.

The 2nd CD and running for office has not squat to do with the simple fact that people have armed themselves considerably longer than they've written, that they arm themselves for good reason - the unarmed are at the mercy of anyone bigger - and that I do not trade ANY right for perceived security. Beyond some useful things, our government has been proven to lie to us, subvert legal proceedings, to infringe Constitutional Rights against despised minorities, etc... You give such an entity unbridled power at your own risk. And I propose to you that the population segment most at risk is not the Right who are aligned with the monetary elite, it is the very group who espouses "disarming the citizenry." (um, Left) ((who also claim to stand for the expansion of civil liberties - how's that work?)) And the Oregonian called me a Conservative Democrat???

The percentage of firearms in this country that are involved in criminal actions is vanishingly small, there are more private firearms than people in this country. Statistically, doctors are more dangerous. Per capita the folks of the 2nd CD are armed to the teeth, oddly we pretty much refrain from slaughtering each other. I do not advocate owning a firearm without full knowlege of it's function, it's legal usage, and competence with it, it is also not my right nor the govenment's to mandate that. You require no license to open your trap or scribble a screed, just like I just did.

I could also have used just as many bytes to scribble some hate-filled screed pushing for the slaughter of some race or creed and quite possibly incite some violence, using my 1st A rights. It bodes well to remember that Hitler rose to power and maintained sway with the written and spoken word and spectacles, not guns and fists. (no, I haven't forgotten the Brownshirts, Gestapo, Army, etc) People get killed because of words and religion, though the mechanism may be swords or guns, that doesn't make the 1st not dangerous. The first things to go away in totalitarian governments are: 2nd A & 1st A rights. Yes, being free is a risky proposition - well, your gonna die anyhow, so how about standing up?
Chuck
Thanks for the imaginary vote, if I win.

There are a couple things I didn't mention about the language of the 2nd A:
Note that it is "a free state" not our state or the state or the USA, these folks were careful with language, though language changes over time may obscure that.

"a well regualted militia" is commonly construed as having "regulated" carrying the connotation of, say, an SEC regulator, or regulatory agency, in other words ruled or disciplined, this was not the case at the time. The word disciplined was available and not used, a well regulated militia was a term for a "properly turned out" or "properly equipped" unit. Militia members were required to provide their own armament in small arms in good working order.

Rifles were a huge advance over smooth bore muskets, effective range was multiplied 5 fold, rather than a close range mass fire weapon a rifle created a situation of aimed fire. This technological break through was known and it's implications known. The fact that the military ignored it until the Civil War is beside the point. My point is that taking a nukes etc stance relegates the Constitutional Convention to some dark ages that did not in fact exist. The Northern delegates were quite aware of the surge of the Industrial Revolution, that was their economic back bone.

If one does not like guns or their existance that is one thing and quite rightfully their view to express, it is another thing entirely to muddy the historical waters with misreadings and improper conotations to bolster a non-existant argument. Your proposal amounts to a Civil Liberty being written for the government to arm itself, a perogative it already enjoyed and all governments have enjoyed. "The right of the people" is the telling statement, nowhere in the Constitution is the government referred to as "the people."

I respect Noam Chomsky's writings on periods he has researched, he also makes some very suspect "throw away" statements from time to time.
Chuck

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