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Joined: 06/18/2004
Posts: 66
2nd Amendment

I think our founders thought fundamentally about what they were doing. They had a very acute and refined understanding of "rights." A right is not granted, conceded, constructed, or conveyed -- it inheres in, is a property of something. In the case of the second amendment, individuals have the right to keep and use arms. The "right" does not assume or require any practical or utilitarian purpose. It is something that inheres in my status as a free man.

Regrettably, the mass of men today do not exercise their brains or their thinking overly much. People confuse rights, at least the right to keep and bear arms, with some practical, utilitarian purpose. If you can rationalize the right, then the right can continue. This same rationalization process is not demanded of other rights, such as the right to free speech. Let people try to justify their need to exercise free speech on the basis of the practical and utilitarian benefits of their saying whatever stupid #$*(% comes into their mind, untempered by any context of experience and knowledge of the subject they are discussing, and the right to free speech would not long continue. Ditto for the right to freedom unusual searches. Ditto for the right to privacy (not that there is any black letter rights in the Bill of Rights on this by the way). So don't be surprised if this right to keep and bear arms is soon lost to us. So many people have lost the ability to think clearly, at least with respect to the second amendment, that it will not last for very long. My sisters who grew up, with me, on a farm and around firearms are good witnesses to this lack of understanding. "Why do you need an assault rifle?" Actually, I don't, and don't want one, but the question is not about the need but the right. When it comes right down to it, who among us needs the right to free speech? How many of us have a new thought, a powerful thought to express which needs to be conveyed to our brothers, to enliven the world of thought, to awaken us from our slumber? Precious few. But we don't subject the right to free speech to tests of utility as we do the right to arms. But just to indulge this "need for arms" query. Well . . . . maybe business owners need to own assault rifles to protect their property in times of civil unrest: Katrina, Oakland earthquake, LA after the Rodney King verdict, any major city after winning a professional basketball title. Now was that so hard to imagine a need for an assualt rifle? A easy firing, lightweight, large magazine capacity semi-automatic rifle mass produced -- just might be useful to protect your hard earned wealth in the face of 20-30 opportunistic predators who, unlike you, have never shouldered their load to improve their condition.

Anyway . . . enough of my rant. Too few people think about this. Ideas have become like clothes, people "don" ideas as fashion accessories. For the elite, educated, hip folks, the right to keep and bear arms isn't hip.

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Location: Maui, Hawaii
Joined: 05/03/2006
Posts: 100
2nd Amendment

You raise some very good points. Gives me more food for thought!

bitmasher's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
2nd Amendment

Well said, Alsatian, inalieanable rights don't need justification.

However I don't think the outlook is quite so bleak for the 2nd amendment. In recent times the dark days were the late sixties through the early eighties.

I'm suprised that I have not heard much of any anti-gun rhetoric from any of the potential candidates for president, or if they have it has not made the news. I think in general there seems to be more awareness of second amendment preservation now than there has been in the last twenty to thirty years.

There are still powerful anti-gun clans in congress, but they don't seem as proud to flaunt this position (unless they come from heavily anti-gun regions such as California bay areas).

Also for the first time in a long time it looks like we will have a SCOTUS review of the second amendment. I'm really interested to see what becomes of this case.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Decision2008/Story?id=3557023&page=1

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