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16 December 2012


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Medicine Man

I know precious little about these things, Eric, but I don't assume that any crackup in the US would be a tidy thing; more like a big mess. Some units would be loyal, others would not.


I'm not sure I agree with you. As a public health nurse for many years, many if not most of the shaken babies, and babies beaten, often to death, were by the father's or boyfrieds of the mother. If you are talking about post partum depression, I agree it is woman's issue, however they woman usually kills just her child, she does not take a gun and mow down all the children on her street


(Late to this thread, sorry; and thank you Col Lang for re-posting)

There are (according to WikiPedia and other internet sources) slight differences between the version of the 2nd amendment passed by congress and the version ratified by the states:

Passed by congress:

“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.”

Ratified by the states:

“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 bears directly on the points made by Madison in Federalist #46 in that the version ratified by the states seems quite clear and unambiguous in its statement that a militia is necessary for the security of a free state (both in the sense of the individual states and the national state, it would seem), and that the people have individual rights to bear arms and that that right to bear arms supports the militia.

The additional comma and (to a lesser extent) different capitalization of the version passed by congress introduces ambiguity into the interpretation of the amendment ESPECIALLY given that the states had to be convinced to ratify the constitution and since the version ratified by the states clearly establishes the importance of militias to both the individual states and the national state.

Also, the purpose of a militia seems to have evolved since the late 18th century - from defense of the nation, defense of the individual state, and as a counter to tyranny - to the purpose militias serve today. Let us not forget that Washington’s Army which defeated the British, was drawn from the populous or militia. Today, defense of the national state is well handled by the armed forces as augmented by the national guard, and the individual states are protected by the national guard units stationed in each state although the guard has been used within the US mostly for disaster response and as an augmentation of federal law enforcement. Countering tyranny seems an antiquated concept until it is required at which point it is essential indeed. It is difficult to conceive of circumstances under which the population of the US would rise up in armed rebellion against the government, but if it were to occur the status of the Armed forces would be critical and it is even more difficult to imagine that the members of the Armed forces would turn their arms against the people of the US - there would have to be an existential breakdown of authority before that could happen.

The founders had a rather more proximate example of the overthrow of tyrannical authority upon which to base the 2nd amendment, so the question for us is - how relevant is that in the US today?

So, given how our country has grown and evolved, does not the 2nd amendment need to be modified both for clarity and to ‘modernize’ it? Clarification could include a durable (over time and circumstance) contextual (context relative to the current state of armaments prevalent at any given time) definition of arms, and a clearer statement of the individual right to bear arms; modernization could include the definition of a militia and how it relates to the state and national defense as well as to the overthrow of tyrannical government.


All I want to say is that if we can modernize the Second, than we should do the same with the First.

I don't think the Founders meant for the First Amendment to cover the Folsom Street Fair. Let's do this - what's good for the goose is good for the gander.


no, the national guard is not a militia, it is a state funded form of military. a militia is average people who train in tactics and firearms. they are specifically meant to be to fight and government funded military, local or foreign.

and in iraq, the people werent allowed to have firearms, it wasnt until we invaded that they were, not only that, when i was there in '08, each household could only have 1 AK, and one magazine... those were later confiscated by... guess who.... thats right, their own government.



You are constitutionally ignorant. The national guard is the federally recognized portion of a state's militia.

"National Guard of the United States—a federally-recognized militia organized by each of the 50 U.S. states and territories that serves both as a military reserve force of the U.S and a state militia. It consists of:

Army National Guard; and
Air National Guard." wiki on National Guard.

Books are great things. pl

no one

NancyK, More people die every year from overdosing on prescription medication prescribed by healthcare professionals than died in all of the "mass" shootings that you cite.

Tyler is correct. The bulk of gun homicides are committed by urban minority youths, most often in cities where strict gun control laws are in place. These homicides are related to gang activity, drug trade, and other generally a subculture of criminal behavior. FBI statistics show this to be the situation.

Remove gun homicides committed by urban minorities and US gun homicide rates drop to levels that resemble countries where gun ownership is less ubiquitous.

Remove the minority (read black and Latino) factors and gun ownership is not at all correlated with crime rates.

Before we start talking about solving a problem we need to identify whether or not there actually is a problem and, if so, what that problem really is.

I recognize that in responding I have been led away from the topic of constitutionality down a tangent, but that is what the anti-gun crowd does.

no one

This is funny Bababk, I was thinking of this situation in reverse. If we (the rural folk) revolt, we would cut NYC's electric (take out a few key points on the grid). We could simultaneously take out a few key bridges on the trucking routes, etc, etc and **we** would starve them out.

I guess I see NYC as representing the power elite. Why would they revolt? They tax us and we get no representation. They eat the food we produce, but look down on us. Without us supporting them, they would die - they have no real skills other than running their mouths and creating financial instruments, whatever those are.

BTW, I also disagree with your assessment of the ability of a well armed populace. As suggested, please look to the history of warfare in the 20th and, especially, 21st century.

no one

we have horses already, Bababk, just saying. Also, we have a lot of veterans.

Dr J M Thunder

I recommend you go read Warren Vs DC Dave. There you will see that precedent has been set that the police are not obliged to protect you. In short there is no way the police can be every where all the time. It would require all people to be Police officers for a 1:1 ratio.

Further more the police are becoming more and more militarized. They are becoming what Obama wants, a standing "army" to do the governments dirty work.


I have some knowledge of trying to obtain medical/mental health records as part of doing background checks for the U.S. Government. You can smile, flash a badge/federal creds, present signed releases and you'll still be told, "Sorry, we cannot..." You tell them it federal law and you really get the run around. "Maybe the patient can provide that information to you..." Medical/mental health providers are more concerned about HIPAA laws than national or societal security. HIPAA laws came about from AIDS. PC personal privacy laws trump national security, societal safety, and Constitutional rights. Don't expect background checks to be any good until you have Jimmy Rockford-style investigators flirting with, and slipping Benjamins to, record clerks.

Hank Foresman

Colonel Lang shared with us Mr. Madison's Federalist 46. Mr. Madison was also the author of the Bill of Rights. Below is the wording of what is now the 2nd Amendment as proposed by Mr. Madison, as it was referred to the Senate by the House, and as it was passed, conferenced and sent to the States by the Senate. I think all, regardless of position, will find the evolution interesting.
Mr. Madison: "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country; but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person."
House of Representatives: "A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed, but no one religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person."
Senate, conferenced, and referred to the states and ratified as the 2nd Amendment: "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."
Mr. Madison in his proposed amendment placed the right to keep and bear arms at the beginning and it was an independent clause, followed by another independent clause, "the militia clause" and then concluded with another independent clause that says those who for religious reasons cannot bear arms shall not be compelled to military service.
It is a shame that Congress changed the order, the wording, and the grammar to create the muddled 2nd Amendment--but it just proves that Congress has been messing things up for over two centuries.

David Ewing

Where did you come by your definition of "militia"? A standard definition from an esteemed dictionary is "a military force that is raised from the civil population to supplement a regular army in an emergency."

Standard definitions are an important starting point for productive discussions. Altering them to suit your argument generates a lot of confusion unless you make it clear that you are deliberately departing from them.


David Ewing

Nice try but in the 18th Century the armed adult male population of English speaking colonies were generally considered to be "the militia." They were assembled regularly on muster days to demonstrated possession of arms and some modest marksmanship. "The term militia in the United States has been defined and modified by Congress several times throughout U.S. history. As a result, the meaning of "the militia" is complex and has transformed over time.[1] It has historically been used to describe all able-bodied men who are not members of the Army or Navy (Uniformed Services). From the U.S. Constitution, Article II (The Executive branch), Sec. 2, Clause 1: "The President shall be the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States when called into the actual service of the United States."" wiki on Militia in the US.

Tom Stepp

Any definition must reflect the common use of the word at the time in which it applicable. Words and there meanings change over time.


Tom Stepp

SCOTUS has defined the "militia" as implying the whole adult population. You will have to get a new SCOTUS in order to ignore settled law and get it reversed, but that is what you want anyway. Good luck! pl

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