It could effectively argued the other rights contained in the Bill of Rights are not absolute. Why then, would (or should) the 2nd Ammendment be any different? What makes it more important than say the 1st amendment?
Nothing is really absolute....
More important than say something as basic as the following:
"All men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Those don't appear to be absolute.
So are you suggesting that the 2A guarantees the right to build and possess a dirty bomb? A surface to air missile? A biological weapon?
Back when the Bill of Rights was written. How many citizens owned cannons? I bet not many.
As for the Supreme Court goes. They also ruled that burning the flag is freedom of speech. I firmly believe they got that one wrong as well as automatic weapons.
I have little doubt you are probably right, but doesn't that beg the next question?
Should the 2A evolve as weapons evolve? If so, wouldn't that indicate that it is in fact not absolute?
Without personal responsibility in using those rights, an individual abrogates their ability to claim or partake of them. It is impossible to legislate or impose restrictions on the Constitutional defined rights without moving rights of moral citizens who do not abuse them.
History has shown that personal morality and respect for law cannot be legislated. There are segments of all society that cannot nor will not obey even the least restrictive rules or regulations. Gun owners in this country daily demonstrate that the 2A is and should not be an issue.
I would guess that most of the people who hang out on the CF could own and possess just about any military weapon in the government`s armory.
This whole thread should address how to deal with those who lack the ability or desire to be a moral person. Henry has identified this problem that has arisen in this country--especially with the increase in the concept of government increasing it's presence with all it's welfare programs that increase dependency on it rather than community/religious assistance of the past. Look
You are more than welcome to start that thread Jack, but this one is about whether or not the 2A (or any other Constitutional right) is absolute.
"I would guess that most of the people who hang out on the CF could own and possess just about any military weapon in the government`s armory."
You are probably right about "most" of them. The same could probably be said about "most" of the population. Unfortunately, restrictions must be placed on the those that don't fall into the "most" category.
"Absolute" is an all or nothing game. Either everyone has the right to posses a dirty bomb, or a surface to air missile, or no one does.
I'm not sure that's actually the case Bentstick. The government has been restricting some types of firearms since 1934.
We need to focus on solutions that will make a difference, not political agendas that do nothing but serve their masters and the later is all "gun control" is.
I couldn't agree more Trax. However, therein lies the irony. Doesn't the fact that there IS such an obvious difference make the "absolute" question the difficult one that it is?
K Cummings's Link
There was the National Firearms Act of 1934.
The Firearm Owners' Protection Act of 1986.
The Brady Bill in 1993.
That would seem to indicate that when it comes to firearms (and related), the 2A is an absolute unless one is an atheist (!) or amoral or mentally ill.
The only way to approach any definition of limits has to hinge on the individual. Statistics show that the vast majority of gun owners (and that includes those that legally own NFA type weapons) are NOT a problem. Gun crimes are seen in Chicago (and other metropolitan area) committed by individuals and gangs that do not obey laws on the books...or liberal/Democrat related mass shooters (the mentally defective).
Even anti-2A politicians have admitted that more gun laws would not have prevented this last mass shootings. Why should the majority of gun owners be subjected to more unnecessary rules and regulations WRT firearms when it is a moral/mental health issues?
Perhaps your initial query should be "why shouldn't the 2A be absolute?" Suppressors (for example) should not be so restrictive. In most European countries the use of suppressors is encouraged and does not require tax stamps and bureaucrat approvals.
In and of itself, the "unless" would suggest that it is in fact "not" absolute.
Look, I totally agree that morality cannot be legislated, and it does indeed "hinge on the individual."
However, if you agree that a convicted felon or a mentally ill person should not own a firearm, you also MUST agree that even a "God given right" is subject to the laws of man.
The Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) — officially, the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act — is a subsection of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, a United States federal law that included a prohibition on the manufacture for civilian use of certain semi-automatic ...
It's important to remember that regardless of what most of us on this site think and feel, about half of folks in this country disagree with us on the 2nd being absolute. Gene
Do you feel that the mentally ill and convicted felons should be restricted when it comes to gun ownership?
Nothing. Nobody that I know of disagrees with that. As has been said many times, you cannot legislate morality.
However, that doesn't have anything to do with the original question. Are any of the rights afforded us in the Constitution absolute, or for that matter should they be?
The "restrictions" you focus on should be applied to those who have been shown that fall outside of the vast majority who have shown that the guarantees of the Constitution do not apply to them; i.e. the criminals and mentally "defective".
For the vast majority of moral and law abiding citizens who pose no threat to society, the 2A should be considered absolute. Historically, Civilization has always restricted rights of those who live and prey outside of common laws.
Ergo, the 2A is an absolute for all citizens except for that previously defined segment who fall outside by actions self created.
You get in trouble for using free speech to incite a riot. You get in trouble swinging your fist around when it contacts someone else nose. You get in trouble raising cattle when you graze them on your neighbor's place without permission.
With the right to keep and bear arms, the trend is to increase restrictions on individuals without them having done anything wrong.
Yes, the framers knew that weapons technology would change and evolve as they were learned men and knew the history of civilization. That is why it is "loosely" written. Specifics would have addressed weaponry of the day meaning they had no foresight.
Even though the Constitution guarantees our God given or inalienable rights, those rights are subject to, or can indeed be "infringed upon" by the laws created by our government.
Not only do I understand what you are saying, I agree.
However, let's look at the "common laws" as a set of guard rails. The 2A is "absolute" for everyone that stays within those rails. It is not "absolute" for those outside the rails either by choice or mental deformity.
That's great...except for the fact that it is government that sets the width of the rails, and by virtue of the fact that they can set them at all, they can either widen them or tighten them, making no right "absolute."
If any rights are subject to the laws of man, they are all subject to the laws of man. Then it only becomes an issue of where man draws the line.
So, as sure as the sun rises, even our inalienable rights are not absolute, and subject to the will of government (man).
In our constitution there is a path to eliminate the 2A or modify it. It only takes enough people and states to come to an agreement to do so.
We can eliminate the 2A, but not the right it discusses. The 2A is clarifying a limitation on government, it does not grant any right and eliminating or modifying the 2A doesn't remove our right.
A "civil right" is a right created by people. Being created by people, they can be eliminated by people. Thats not the type of right discussed in the 2A.
I guess we can talk around it all we want but if the 2A only prevents government from infringing on an inalienable right, how is it that we all seem to agree that the government can restrict that right due to previous crimes and mental deformities?
As a society we have established circumstances where we infringe on others rights. The fact that we do that doesn't change the right, it changes our ability to exercise the right. I have the right to protect myself and the guy stabbing me has the right to life. I fully intend on infringing on his right.
We can make any law we want. That doesn't mean its right or Constitutional. With enough force anyone can enforce any law and infringe on any right, of anyone, whether its a good thing or bad.
The debate is about when we will infringe on rights as a society. I am fine infringing on rights when an individual's actions warrant it. Being on-board with infringing on a person's rights because they might use their freedom to do something bad, but haven't, is a tougher sell.
This is the way I would frame the question......
At what point do you think the Government can infringe on natural rights?
We are herd animals that believe in Social order?
Is there any mental disorder or previous crime that would justify someone having their right to own a firearm taken away or restricted?
A simple yes or no would suffice.
Yes. A mental disorder that has induced behavior in them that shows access to firearms has or reliably will be a threat to others. Similar to when parental rights are restricted.
Yes. I would support some violent felony convictions to include infringing of rights beyond their incarceration as part of sentencing.
Since my answer had to be no and yes, I couldn't do one word but kept it as short as I could.
Yes. A mental disorder that has induced behavior in them that shows access to firearms has or reliably will be a threat to others. Similar to when parental rights are restricted.
Yes. I would support some violent felony convictions to include infringing of rights beyond their incarceration as part of sentencing."
That's been what I've been attempting to get people to think about Glunt. The 2A clearly states the following:
"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."
So, if there are any circumstances, where those rights can be infringed, (and there clearly are) the 2A is not absolute. Then it becomes a matter of where the line is drawn, and that is up to the people.
The same is true for all other rights our founders claimed were "unalienable" (i.e. life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness). They might well be endowed on every human being by his or her creator, but they most certainly can be, and are, infringed upon every day.
" No gun laws..... Period. No restrictions..... Period"
We have gun laws. We have restrictions. None of them and none we could add would have stopped this shooter. Or any other. Criminals and crazies and terrorists could care less about such trivial things as laws and restrictions. They only affect good people, law abiding citizens. We need to boot liberal judges/Justices that do not uphold the laws we have. But to make improvements, to do something that will actually make a positive difference we need to do something else entirely. We need to address and treat mental health more proactively. We need the private sector to better prepare with better security from top to bottom. And we need the media/press to become more responsible, to discontinue making movie stars of these sick killers. These murderers should be treated like the parasites they are. No fanfare, no soap opera coverage. Tried, convicted, executed in very quick and quiet fashion.
Sometimes when you have a tough problem, eliminating things that aren't a solution helps guide people to an answer. I'll start:
Further restricting my rights will not make anyone safer except bad guys. I could own an F-22 and the world would be no less safe.
Having said that, we have to be honest with each other and to ourselves.
It does no good for anyone to keep repeating the same platitudes that simply cannot be supported.
We will never find a solution to a problem when we attempt to build it on false premise.
Well duhhh...did your parents pay for that education or are you self educated?
All rights, inalienable or not, have been infringed upon by man since day 1 at some point or other...The founders did not invent inalienable rights. They were just the first to write them down and develop a platform or structure from which they can be defended. No one has ever said those rights cannot be taken away. Only that it would be against natural law to take them away...The entire idea of the USA is based on this idea of individual inalienable rights. Take away that idea(s) and the idea of America goes with them...JMO
Gun control solves nothing, but to possibly take more freedom and liberty from we the people and empower big power government.
If I could have someone, anyone, tell me what gun control measures would have prevented this last shooting or any of the potentials in the future that would be great. I thought so. Gun control is not the answer.
Let's focus on solutions that will actually accomplish something positive. Gun control does not.
All rights, inalienable or not, have been infringed upon by man since day 1 at some point or other...The founders did not invent inalienable rights. They were just the first to write them down and develop a platform or structure from which they can be defended. No one has ever said those rights cannot be taken away. Only that it would be against natural law to take them away...The entire idea of the USA is based on this idea of individual inalienable rights. Take away that idea(s) and the idea of America goes with them...JMO"
With all due respect, I'm educated enough to know that this statement contradicts itself on a number of different levels, not to mention a number of people that have posted on this thread.
I'm also listening for things that can make society safer but not ignoring the cost and proven effectiveness. The murder rate in the US is much lower than 30 years ago and about the same as it was in the 50's. Mass shootings are awful and tragic but the reality is that the odds of getting murdered in the US are extremely low. If you don't live in an urban area, aren't involved in drugs or crime, the odds get way lower.
Again Glunt, I completely agree.
What I was ultimately trying to get to is that every one of us has level of "infringement" that we are comfortable with, or will at least accept. Whether it be because of a criminal record, a mental instability, a certain class of weapons, etc., we all know that there must be limits. Heck, the very Constitution that guaranteed our unalienable rights, spells out the methods by which they can be infringed upon. I'm ok with that. It's what prevents a lawless chaotic society. None of us want to live in a society that has no rules or limits. At least I don't.
That would depend if the Muslim's are US citizens are not. If they're here illegally the answer would be I'd have a problem with that. I would have the same opinion with any illegal immigrant in the USA stock piling weapons.
KPC, I think it has evolved. At the time when the 2A was written arms (guns) were muskets. Then came guns that fire ammunition. Single shot, lever action, bolt action etc. semi automatic came a long eventually. However we draw the line at fully automatic for some reason.
For the record. After reading numerous posts since I posted. I would agree it’s not absolute. Due to new laws passed by the government officials we elected.
You know that is what they wanted to insert but couldn't...
But what if they are citizens, and the imam of the mosque has been known to say some pretty radical things?
Or what if they are citizens but the storehouse is owned by a group of BLM activists, or a ANTIFA group known for encouraging violent protests, property damage, and violent rhetoric?
Or what if they are citizens, and they are members of the Black Panthers, a radical Greenpeace group, Earth First, PETA, Michigan Militia, KKK, Skinheads, etc., etc., etc..
""Sleepy, the dems will not agree with you.""
Bent, without a doubt they would. I think that is where the sticking point is, the Dems want only certain people to own firearms not everybody who can legally own one.
Natural rights or inalienable as being bantied about are those that are not dependent on the laws or customs of any particular culture or government, and therefore universal and inalienable (i.e., rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws).
So, what part of the BoRights come under the heading as "absolute, inalienable"?
Yes, the 2nd is being infringed upon, but the right to free speech and to keep and bear arms is a political and civil action that can be taken away through a process that is outlined in the Constitution.
Now, as to stashes of arms. If you are not trying to overthrow duly elected government or going around and yelling Allah snack bar at non believers. You're probably OK.
But I shoot back with pretty good accuracy.
The 2A says "....the right of the people....". It discusses a right that already exists. It doesn't grant the right and neither does any law or political action. Its a natural right. Did God or Mother nature endow us with an AR-15? No, but the right of self protection is inherent. For a turtle, he can use his shell, a pronghorn can use his speed, a whale can use its intelligence and a human can use what his physical and mental ability allows him to build, acquire, or calculate.
I get that a nuke in every garage in the neighborhood is unrealistic but I also get that the whole idea of being able to own and use firearms is centered around the ability to defend against a foreign invader or replace the government if necessary. Pretty hard to do with a Glock and a Remington 700.
IMHO, It's the word "right" or "rights" that gets over used and miss used. Walk into a court of law and try to use "right" as it's being bandied about here..... it's embarrassing.
If you walked into the Supreme Court and said that the right referred to in the 2A is pre-existing and not created by the Constitution or any other document or written law, it would not be embarrassing because the court agrees and has ruled exactly that.
For example, in United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542, 553 (1875), the Court stated that the Second Amendment “has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the national government,” and in Presser v. Illinois, 116 U.S. 252, 265 (1886), the Court reiterated that the Second Amendment “is a limitation only upon the power of Congress and the National government, and not upon that of the States.”
The supremes work off of case law and the words written at time of document. I've looked, I've researched your POV. And at this time, it's just your POV till you can show where in case law the 2A predates it's inception.
Heller, 128 S.Ct. at 2797-98."
That reads to me that the SCOTUS agrees that the right was pre-existing.
Their rulings on how much it can be infringed on are another matter.
God bless, Steve
It's interesting that they cover their buts by saying that the Amendments are not protected by the Constitution. Which makes me think that this case law was a way to tie in natural rights to bolster a POV or make it law of the land. Not that it's a bad thing for the Amendments, it's just that words have meanings and when people make up new definitions for a word that was never there before.... well, that's how law becomes political. As what we saw in Ocare ruling by the supremes.
Sadly, as more and more power was taken from the people and, in many cases, the proper branch of government, many completely unconstitutional "laws" were added that at this point have infringed upon many of our rights.