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Posted: 5/16/2003 7:09:58 PM EDT
"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." - Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution I'm all for the right to keep and bear arms. Personally, I own a few. However, I had an English teacher in college who told us that the 2nd Amendment as backing for the right to personally own guns was inaccurate because of grammar. Go figure. According to how the sentence reads, the subject of the amendment is "A well-regulated militia". The next two clauses refer back to the subject. So... she said that really this statement says only a well-regulated militia's right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, not necessarily normal citizens. Now, I believe that the original writers of the constitituion meant for us to be able to defend ourselves (especially from the British as when this was written). Leave it to a grammar teacher, who must also be a anti-gun person. Just thought I would stir the pot! :)
Link Posted: 5/16/2003 7:15:47 PM EDT
Why then are the first ten ammendments called the "Bill of Rights"? States or governments do not need "rights" spelled out for themselves. All ten either [b][u]limit[/b][/u] what actions the Federal government may take, or [b][u]affirm[/b][/u] the rights of citizens. TS
Link Posted: 5/16/2003 7:18:06 PM EDT
Good comment. I wish I had some help from here when she came up with this. Although, she wasn't really defending this position just an English teacher being an English teacher!
Link Posted: 5/16/2003 7:21:00 PM EDT
Typical... This coming from a Spanish teacher. [:D] TS
Link Posted: 5/16/2003 7:21:47 PM EDT
I bet she didnt know about this. [url]http://www.constitution.org/mil/mil_act_1792.htm[/url]
Link Posted: 5/16/2003 7:23:18 PM EDT
your english teacher is a moron with an agenda and a limited grasp of the intricacies of late 18th Century 'American' English. There are only two clauses in the second amendmment the first is what is called a 'preamble' or 'justification' clause. It is: 'A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free state,' The second clause is the main clause, it is neither dependent upon, nor limited to the 'justification' clause, unless the language is VERY specific in that 'justification' clause (for an example of a specific 'justification' clause look up the 'patents and copyright' clause) The main clause is: 'the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.'
Link Posted: 5/16/2003 7:30:02 PM EDT
Geesh, Silence are you an English teacher also. Lost me in all that!
Link Posted: 5/16/2003 7:30:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/16/2003 7:31:56 PM EDT by Sumo2000]
Your teacher is being very selective in his reading, you have to read it in context with the rest of the constitution. [i]A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state,[/i] this is a causative statement, meaning "this is the reason for the second part of the amendment" [i]the right of the people[/i] in all other parts of the Constitution "the people" means everyone, not a select few, also, note that it doesn't say "the people shall have the right" it never actually "gives" this right to us. That is because the right is self evident and a basic natural right to self defense, not a "privilege" given to us by a beneficent ruler [i]to keep and bear arms,[/i] as stated in the Militia Act, these arms should be supplied by the people themselves and be of modern military design on par with potential enemies (that's a summation, not a quote) [i]shall not be infringed[/i] That part is important, reflecting back to the fact that our rights are already there. The natural state is one of total freedom, some laws are made to establish stability. The whole point of the Bill of Rights is that it doesn't give the people anything, it limits what the Government is allowed to do. It is said point blank, [b]Shall not be infringed![/b] The statement he made about militia, remind him that a "militia" is ALL able bodied males (and sometimes women) who are civilians. Not the National Guard, again, refer to the Militia Act of 1792. [url]http://www.constitution.org/mil/mil_act_1792.htm[/url]
Link Posted: 5/16/2003 7:38:42 PM EDT
Read the bottom line of my post I do not have a problem with the interpretation.
Link Posted: 5/16/2003 7:41:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/17/2003 4:47:22 AM EDT by Phil_A_Steen]
Now if only we could get the Supreme Court to agree with some of the views espoused above.
Link Posted: 5/16/2003 7:43:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/16/2003 7:48:20 PM EDT by Skibane]
Attempting to apply today's rules of grammar to a document written several centuries ago (before a formal set of grammar rules were even in common use) is pointless. Furthermore, the grammar wasn't even consistent between the several copies of the Bill Of Rights that were being circulated at the time – For example, some contain fewer commas in the 2nd Amendment's "preamble" than others. What's more telling is that in the entire United States Constitution, the word "state" (in the context of a governmental entity) appears some 83 times. Conversely, the phrase "the people" appears only 9 times — a scarcity that suggests that it was purposefully chosen in those 9 instances. The only one of those 9 instances where "the people" has been argued to actually mean something other than individual citizens (perhaps something more akin to "the collective" or "the State") is when it appears in the 2nd Amendment. In every other case, substituting "the State" for "the People" is generally acknowledged to drastically alter the meaning of the sentence, and in no other Amendment has this "collective" interpretation ever been seriously argued in court.
Link Posted: 5/16/2003 7:44:59 PM EDT
I hate to tell you this, but your english teacher is a lying liberal bitch that is twisting grammar rules in order to suit her biased agenda. The ammendment breaks down into two parts. 1. A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, The proper explanation of this is as a preparatory clause. It explains the reason for the main point. 2. The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. This is the main statement. The what behind the why of the preparatory clause. Right is the subject. Infringe is the verb. Shall not be is the adverbial restricting infringe. Keep and bear arms define the right being mentioned. Because there may be a time in which we must quickly establish a well functioning (check definitions of regulated. Ever hear of a regulator clock?) militia, we want everyone to be able to handle firearms effectively. The best way is for them to be allowed to have personal arms with which they can become familiar with usage thereof. Let me make an example of the original drivers license laws. An unsafe driver being a hazard to the community, all drivers of motor vehicles shall be licensed. This states that every one that drives a car must have a license "because" unsafe drivers are a hazard. This is the same format as the second amendment. Another point is that the preparatory clause does not stand alone. In order to be a sentence, it requires a subject and verb. Militia is the subject, but there is no verb (adverbs don't count in making a sentence complete) Being is an adverb as this sentence is formed. Try seperating the two and it becomes obvious. A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, ... WHAT!?!?!?!? However, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Does stand on its own merit. Also, your punctuation is wrong. There is only one comma in the ammendment. It is between state and the. There is no comma after arms. Tell your teacher that she is an incompetent, lying bitch. I couldn't learn squat about grammar in public schools or college because of the gross incompetence of the teachers. I learned proper English grammar by studying Japanese in the Army. To prove her incompetence, I give you my name. Make sure you spell it correctly and ask her to read it to you. It is Floyd Shown. With an O, not an A. My last name is the past participle of the verb Show. As in has, have, or had shown. When she reads it as shAwn you can put her in her place. (That one I learned in the third grade because throughout my entire educational career, not one english teacher ever pronounced it right without first being corrected. Now, if she tries the "people" means the state, ask her to read the preamble. The first three words "We the People". Does this then limit the second ammendment right to the signatories? No, the signatories represented all the citizens of their districts and the bill of rights was written for all the citizens of their districts. the first ten ammendments are meant for each and every citizen of the United States. They are not a right of the state, or of the federal government. (Oh yeah, tell that liberal bitch, that those rights do [b] [r] NOT [/b] [/r] extend to non citizens such as illegal aliens or the prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay. Only to natural or naturalized citizens of this country. Sorry for the lecture, but I get really pissed when the liberals try to twist the language to their own gains. "depends on what the definition of is is" This from someone that knows and respects the proper forms of our language and can put any public and most college english teachers totally to shame.
Link Posted: 5/16/2003 7:45:44 PM EDT
No, not an English teacher, just have argued this very point many many times, so I know my shit now. The 'subject' of the Second Amendment is 'The right of the People' (with an understanding that this is the SAME 'the people' as listed in the Preamble to the Constitution, in other words 'The People' always refer to 'We, the People of the United States of America'). The main clause is what is and what is being done to 'the right of the people to keep and bear Arms', which is the 'right' being enumerated, and that is that it 'shall not be infringed'. The opening clause, or 'preamble' or 'justification clause', simply is an explanation as to A reason, not necessarily THE reason (unless the language is VERY specific) for the existence of the Main clause. That being that 'a well regulated Militia' is the best way to keep the State (and by extension the People of that State) free. Contrast the Second Amendment with the 'Patents and Copyright' Clause which is: Congress shall have the Power... "...To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective writings and Discoveries:" That is a limiting 'justification' clause. The REASON for the existence of granted Patents and copyrights is 'To promote the progress of Science and useful Arts'.
Link Posted: 5/16/2003 7:49:43 PM EDT
One point that rarely gets mentioned here is that Amendment II was written by old, wealthy, white, slave owners, whereas the other twenty-five were written by the ACLU. cynic
Link Posted: 5/16/2003 8:08:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By cynic: One point that rarely gets mentioned here is that Amendment II was written by old, wealthy, white, slave owners, whereas the other twenty-five were written by the ACLU. cynic
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You must be sarcastic - Amendments 1 through 10 were written by the same bunch of old, wealthy, white, slave owners, and ratified in the same session of Congress in 1792.
Link Posted: 5/16/2003 8:09:29 PM EDT
The English teacher is full of shit - she was wrong in the 18th century and she is wrong now.
Link Posted: 5/16/2003 8:17:04 PM EDT
Here's a relevant quote from G. Gordon Liddy's "When I Was a Kid This Was a Free Country"
There has been a lot of twaddle bandied about in recent years that the prefatory words “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…” somehow indicate that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” is not an individual right, as in the First and Fourth Amendments, but a “collective” right. Nothing could be more false. As Roy Copperud, author of “American Usage and Style: The Consensus” and a member of the “American Heritage Dictionary” usage panel, has pointed out: The words “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…” constitute a present participle, rather than a clause. It is used as an adjective, modifying “militia,” which is followed by the main clause of the sentence (subject “the right,” verb “shall”). The right to keep and bear arms is asserted as essential for maintaining a militia… The sentence does not restrict the right to keep and bear arms, nor does it state or imply possession of the right elsewhere by others than the people… The right to keep and bear arms is not said by the amendment to depend on the existence of a militia. No condition is stated or implied as to the relation of the right to keep and bear arms and to the necessity of a well-regulated militia as a requisite to the security of a free state. The right to keep and bear arms is deemed unconditional by the entire sentence. The Framers of the Constitution were highly educated men and masters of the English language; they knew exactly what they were saying.
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Link Posted: 5/16/2003 8:29:59 PM EDT
Quote: You must be sarcastic There are those who can spot sarcasm, and those who can't. [noclue] cynic
Link Posted: 5/16/2003 8:38:09 PM EDT
The "Second" is not in error. The morons opposed to it are!
Link Posted: 5/16/2003 8:49:00 PM EDT
An excellent article that should put your English teacher to rest: The Unabridged Second Amendment [url]http://keepandbeararms.com/information/XcIBViewItem.asp?ID=1444[/url]
Link Posted: 5/16/2003 8:50:24 PM EDT
Originally Posted By cynic: Quote: You must be sarcastic There are those who can spot sarcasm, and those who can't. [noclue] cynic
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I have heard the wierdest things said on AR15.com, so I prefer to clarify. You can too, by means of the right emoticon.
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