Posts Tagged ‘guns’

The meaning of the Second Amendment becomes clear and obvious when you become familiar with a little bit of grammatical history. At the time of the writing of the Bill of Rights, there was a rather common abuse of the use of the comma by people who were not strict followers of proper grammar. (I know, it sounds silly, but go look it up yourself)

Bill of RightsThe version of the Bill of Rights that was published for re-distribution included three commas in the text, splitting the amendment into four separate parts — and this version is the one that is often seen today:

“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.”

However, the author of the Bill of Rights, James Madison, was not such a person as to abuse grammar rules and, like his predecessors in Jefferson and Franklin, he was rather specific and exercised practiced intent in how he phrased his statements — especially for documents of such import.

The actual text that was was read and approved and signed into law by the House of Representatives and the Senate, only included a single comma:

“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.”

Mind you, at the time of it’s writing, the term militia meant any body of armed men so-assembled to fight on behalf of the state. This is important and the placement of the single comma in the original text is extremely important when you also understand the nature of how such statements of intent were assembled at that time.

American_militia_firing_at_the_British_infantry_from_behind_a_split_rail_fence_during_the_Battle_of_Guilford_Courthouse,_March_15,_1781The first part before the comma is what is referred to as a dependent clause. A dependent clause is a phrase which cannot stand on it’s own. As such, it is included as a qualifier to a second independent’ clause and is included as reason for said independent clause. A ‘preamble‘ clause such as this is utilized to give (at least one, deemed most relevant or important) cause for the existence of the second, independent clause. The second half (after the comma) is in fact such an independent clause — one which stands on it’s own even without the pre-amble. (these are also referred to as a ‘prefactory’ and an ‘operative’ clause)

When you understand the nature of the language used and the manner in which it was written in the official, signed-into-law version, the original intent of this amendment is very clear. “The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Nothing more needs to be said. But, the supporting clause given as the most relevant and important reason for this being so recognized is that the existence or formation of a militia is necessary to the security of a free state.

This is not ambiguous when you properly understand the language.

Discussions leading up to the drafting of the Bill of Rights included discussions of things such as individual self-defense against other individuals, and hunting, and shooting sports — the same as they do today. But the reason that was decided upon as the most relevant and important imperative cause to recognize and protect the individual right to keep and bear arms was the fact that it was also necessary for the state to have access to armies.

The purpose of the second amendment was NOT placed there for the purpose of having able bodied men who owned guns in the event the government needed to assemble such a militia. The second amendment was placed there BECAUSE the state would ultimately and necessarily always have access to such military force.

James Madison

James Madison, author of The Bill of Rights

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There’s no such thing as an ‘assault’ weapon. There are weapons better geared to be used in armed assaults, but I wouldn’t take a deer rifle to a gun fight.

Let me expound on what I mean by that. Yes, there are weapons that aren’t suited to ‘hunting’. Most hunters hunt for the meat, or sometimes the hide, maybe the horns. (I personally have not found a good recipe for horn yet, so I hunt for my love of venison and wild game) You would not, for example, want to use a bazooka to shoot a deer if your intention was to get dinner. (that is unless you have a pallet that prefers bruised, blood, bone and hair speckled hamburger) But technically you ‘could’ use a bazooka to shoot a deer, just the results would not be suitable. So it’s safe to say a bazooka does not make for a good deer rifle.

Squirrel Hunting with an AK-47
But any time you create a ‘classification’ and intend to define things by way of that classification, if another classification equally applies, the stereotyping of that item is potentially invalidated. I know, for example a great many hunters who like to use AK-47’s because they are one of the most reliable weapons ever made. You can literally drop them in the mud, drag them through the sand, bury them in 12″ of top soil, pull them out and still get them to fire accurately enough to take down a deer. So although built to be used for armed assaults, they make very effective weapons for just about any purpose.

But let’s focus on those most ‘evil’ of weapons folks try to demonize. Weapons that are designed with the full intention of killing as many enemies as possible. Large round, full metal jacket, metal spraying machines who’s primary design and purpose is to hurl as much lethal stuff at human bodies as possible in the shortest span of time. They probably wouldn’t be suitable for hosing down deer if, as in most places, you are only provided 1 or 2 kill tags.

The problem is that any weapon created for the purpose of carrying out assaults works equally well for the purpose of defending against those assaults. Any weapon that poses a threat to others is capable of posing a deterrent to others as well. Thus any so-called ‘assault’ weapon is equally classifiable as an ‘anti-assault’ weapon. It’s all in how it is used.

Despite the desires of the anti-gun crowd to suggest otherwise, I have conducted multiple experiments. I have, for example, taken out my Ruger 10/22, thrown a fully loaded 30 round banana clip into it and set it on the table in such a configuration that it met one of the original qualifications as an ‘assault’ weapon. I set it out thus and left it there, properly supervised of course, for over 3 days straight. It never once got up off the table, ran out, and started mowing down innocent civilians and children. As I say, I have repeated this and similar experiments with my other weapons many times. Not once has any of them gone out and performed a killing spree on their own.

So the notion of an ‘assault’ weapon is nothing more than a rhetorical myth created by people who want to demonize something they do not wish to bear any responsibility for. But be damn sure, if they ever need that ‘anti-assault’ capability, they’ll be finding someone properly trained and throw those guns into their hands, all the while begging them “save me save me!” All I can say is ‘how pathetic!’

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Originally posted to Facebook Notes

Some comments on a friends facebook page about guns and home safety in regards to kids got me thinking of a (true) story about a friend of my fathers. This man was dating a woman who lived alone with three teenage daughters. There was a recent number of breakins and assaults near their apartment complex and she came to him asking if he could help her get a gun so her and the girls could defend themselves. He agreed to help but on a number of conditions – basically that they do it by his terms.
The terms he laid out was that they learn as much as possible about firearms before seeking to purchase one. And that upon purchasing one they learn everything about it before firing it. And that they also learn how to fire it before putting it in their home for protection. They all agreed (mom and the three daughters).
So he began by sitting them down and explaining to all of them the various benefits and detriments to guns with various types of actions and mechanisms, clips versus cylinders, barrel length, weight, accuracy, safety features, trigger pulls, hammer drops, recoils, etc. It was unanimously decided to get a double-action revolver for a number of reasons. (they were worried about automatics due to the hard-to-pull action and the possibility of having fingers or other body parts behind the action when it auto-cycled upon firing, a double action would provide the option of manually pulling the hammer back for an easier trigger pull or doing a longer-harder trigger pull to completely cycle the action and fire the gun in an emergency. Furthermore, they could store the gun with the hammer resting over an empty cylinder to minimize accidents)
So it was decided and they went to a local gun show, and looked over various dealer’s booths and purchased and registered a double-action revolver. He then took them home and taught them everything they could ever possibly need to know about the revolver and all four of them had to demonstrate both knowledge and proficiency with a number of concepts; how to make sure it was not loaded and safe, how to take it apart and put it back together, how to properly clean it, how to properly carry it and hand it off to someone else, etc.
Once they all were satisfied with their proficiency on those concepts he told them to don some old clothes and they would all have to go to the range and learn how to proficiently and safely fire the gun, so they did. They made a full day of it and actually had some fun learning to do it, even getting in some competitions with one another as to who could shoot the straightest. They learned to shoot bench rested and freehand, and standing. They shot at 25 yards, they shot at 50 yards. All-in-all they all felt much more satisfied with their knowledge and proficiency and thus felt much more secure in their choice to get a gun for home protection.
So the man asked them to start packing up while he would go take down the last of the targets. But unbeknown to them, he reached down to grab a small brown paper bag he had sitting near his feet the entire time. As they were busy picking up the shell casings and packing up their things he went out to a distance of about 15 yards, set down a small stool, set the contents of the bag on top of the stool and removed the brown paper bag to revel a 1/2 gallon metal can with the label removed. He then walked back to the woman and the girls, some what oblivious to him in the midst of their tasks, picked up the gun and loaded a single bullet, turned and fired at the metal can.

In a split second the decision to keep a gun for personal protection vanished, for in a split second every one of them was covered from head to foot in small red specs. As everyone stood in shock he explained that what was in in the can was plain old tomato juice but that the contents of the can reacts not much unlike a human body and thus that is what they can expect if they ever actually have to use the gun for personal protection against an intruder.
The decision was made to sell the gun the following day, not because they felt unsafe around the gun but because they now realized exactly what it would mean to use it.

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