The Historiography and Philosophy of the Right to Bear Arms

Jul 2016
8,410
USA
#1
As it pertains to the 18th century and the founding of the United States of America, did the right to bear arms, possess privately owned military grade weaponry, make sense? Was it a "good" Amendment to include in the Bill of Rights for fledgling United States or a mistake? Is it an important right?

Please stay within the parameters of the 18th-19th century or I'll ask that mods intervene.
 

Robert165

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
4,266
North Georgia
#2
I am curious as well

When the topic of gun control comes up
2nd Amendment people seem to conveniently forget the term "well regulated"

I'd be vary interested to hear what their original thoughts were
 
Jul 2016
8,410
USA
#5
On the contrary, it seems to mean exactly that.

A well regulated schedule is schedule, (or a well regulated appetite) is a schedule with clear and distinct rules and details.
Again, you're using the modern meaning. Imagine someone used the word "fag" or "gay" in that time period as well, both meant completely different things then they do now. "Well regulated" is the same. Over hundreds of years, words change.

"The phrase "well-regulated" was in common use long before 1789, and remained so for a century thereafter. It referred to the property of something being in proper working order. Something that was well-regulated was calibrated correctly, functioning as expected. Establishing government oversight of the people's arms was not only not the intent in using the phrase in the 2nd amendment, it was precisely to render the government powerless to do so that the founders wrote it."*

*The source isn't pro-gun, its the Constitution Society.

The wording means that the militias should be in proper working order, which means being properly manned, well drilled, well fed and supplied for a short period, and with proper working weapons.
 

Robert165

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
4,266
North Georgia
#6
Again, you're using the modern meaning. Imagine someone used the word "fag" or "gay" in that time period as well, both meant completely different things then they do now. "Well regulated" is the same. Over hundreds of years, words change.

"The phrase "well-regulated" was in common use long before 1789, and remained so for a century thereafter. It referred to the property of something being in proper working order. Something that was well-regulated was calibrated correctly, functioning as expected. Establishing government oversight of the people's arms was not only not the intent in using the phrase in the 2nd amendment, it was precisely to render the government powerless to do so that the founders wrote it."*

*The source isn't pro-gun, its the Constitution Society.

The wording means that the militias should be in proper working order, which means being properly manned, well drilled, well fed and supplied for a short period, and with proper working weapons.
wow

so "well regulated" means that guns should be in working order.... like all 147 of my guns in my basement are well oiled and calibrated and ready to fire. and like, i'm supposed to go to he gun range EVERY DAY to make sure i shoot straight.

boy howdy!

god bless the USA!!!!!!!
 
Jul 2016
8,410
USA
#7
wow

so "well regulated" means that guns should be in working order.... like all 147 of my guns in my basement are well oiled and calibrated and ready to fire. and like, i'm supposed to go to he gun range EVERY DAY to make sure i shoot straight.

boy howdy!

god bless the USA!!!!!!!
I detect sarcasm, which is confusing since the source answered the question about what "well regulated" meant. Do you just not like the answer?

The firearms aren't the only thing that were supposed to be in good working order, the militia was too, as a whole. When it comes to the weapons, rusty broken, guns aren't very useful. Steel must be oiled, the locks must be in proper working condition, the powder kept dry. And the shooter have some level of proficiency in loading and firing his piece to hit a target (implying some level of training, though daily is a bit excessive).

It makes a whole lot of sense, especially when taken into account who legally made up the militia in those days (everyone!).
 

Robert165

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
4,266
North Georgia
#8
you detected correctly

which is confusing since the source answered the question about what "well regulated" meant. Do you just not like the answer?

The firearms aren't the only thing that were supposed to be in good working order, the militia was too, as a whole. When it comes to the weapons, rusty broken, guns aren't very useful. Steel must be oiled, the locks must be in proper working condition, the powder kept dry. And the shooter have some level of proficiency in loading and firing his piece to hit a target (implying some level of training, though daily is a bit excessive).
Thats what - I - said:

"well regulated" means that guns should be in working order.... like all 147 of my guns in my basement are well oiled and calibrated and ready to fire. and like, i'm supposed to go to he gun range EVERY DAY to make sure i shoot straight.





But really, the term is ambiguous, regulated, but um.... really... it's not. See, regulated could of meant only those who can shoot strait can own/use a gun. ie, we LIMIT who has guns. I mean thats not really what they meant..... but it could of been. It could of meant only white men can own guns. The terminology is very problematic.
 
Oct 2012
8,545
#9
I am curious as well

When the topic of gun control comes up
2nd Amendment people seem to conveniently forget the term "well regulated"

I'd be vary interested to hear what their original thoughts were
From Federalist 29:

The project of disciplining all the militia of the United States is as futile as it would be injurious, if it were capable of being carried into execution. A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, or even a week, that will suffice for the attainment of it. To oblige the great body of the yeomanry, and of the other classes of the citizens, to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well-regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people, and a serious public inconvenience and loss. It would form an annual deduction from the productive labor of the country, to an amount which, calculating upon the present numbers of the people, would not fall far short of the whole expense of the civil establishments of all the States. To attempt a thing which would abridge the mass of labor and industry to so considerable an extent, would be unwise: and the experiment, if made, could not succeed, because it would not long be endured. Little more can reasonably be aimed at, with respect to the people at large, than to have them properly armed and equipped; and in order to see that this be not neglected, it will be necessary to assemble them once or twice in the course of a year.


But though the scheme of disciplining the whole nation must be abandoned as mischievous or impracticable; yet it is a matter of the utmost importance that a well-digested plan should, as soon as possible, be adopted for the proper establishment of the militia. The attention of the government ought particularly to be directed to the formation of a select corps of moderate extent, upon such principles as will really fit them for service in case of need. By thus circumscribing the plan, it will be possible to have an excellent body of well-trained militia, ready to take the field whenever the defense of the State shall require it. This will not only lessen the call for military establishments, but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist.'

You seem to have things backwards, the right to bear arms isn't dependent on the existence of a well-regulated militia; rather, the existence of a well-regulated militia is dependent on the right to bear arms.
 
Jul 2016
8,410
USA
#10
you detected correctly


Thats what - I - said:

"well regulated" means that guns should be in working order.... like all 147 of my guns in my basement are well oiled and calibrated and ready to fire. and like, i'm supposed to go to he gun range EVERY DAY to make sure i shoot straight.

But really, the term is ambiguous, regulated, but um.... really... it's not. See, regulated could of meant only those who can shoot strait can own/use a gun. ie, we LIMIT who has guns. I mean thats not really what they meant..... but it could of been. It could of meant only white men can own guns. The terminology is very problematic.
The terminology isn't problematic because the 2nd Amendment wasn't designed to infringe on anything, just like the rest of the Bill of Rights. The term isn't ambiguous, the link I provided has numerous examples of the term's usage in context not related to firearms, it does not mean government regulations, it means in proper working order. The Bill of Rights doesn't ban any freedoms, like stipulating that white men can only own guns, it states emphatically what the government is never allowed to impose on. Laws specifically banning certain people from owning certain types came about later, and those should have been challenged by the Supreme Court, but weren't (a hit not on the Constitution but the folly of the state and federal legislature, executive, and judiciary branches, which is again testament to the dangers of an all powerful government.
 

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