pizzazz wrote:Yes, the militia clause is significant. No, the right to keep and bear arms is not in any way dependent on the existence or necessity of a militi. I agree that the first clause, in addition to providing for the state's to have militias, provides a reason for the right to bear arms. That doesn't imply dependence.
"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State," is a dependent clause. As wikipedia puts it, "A dependent clause (also subordinate clause) is a clause used in conjunction with an independent clause and augments or attributes additional information to it. Dependent clauses cannot stand alone as a sentence; instead, they always modify the independent clause of a sentence." The dependent clause here is modifying
the independent clause stating that this right shall not be infringed. Why is that clause in there, modifying it? Because its writers felt the need to say something about why the people had this individual right - something they did exactly one time in the entire bill of rights: this time. All the rest, they felt, were self-explanatory. Not this one. It's linked to a specific need; it is not independent like the others. Yes, it exists, but for a reason. There's no reason given for the freedom of speech. None for freedom of religion. The Constitution is silent on why you have the right to be secure from unreasonable searches. But the right to bear arms? That's because the nation needs a well regulated militia (or needed one back then).
Yes, those limits exist. Why do they exist? Because we feel they may cause harm of some type to others. But explosives and all those other things I listed are merely collections of chemicals, plastic, metal, etc.
And you're just a collection of elements. Your point?
They are only harmful if used (or, I suppose, in the case of an accident, so let's say we're on a big property of our own). And yet they're often illegal anyway.
Likewise hate speech can only be harmful if exerted (around other people) - specifically, it can exist, as in your "big property of our own" example, without being harmful; muttering "that n-word over there should die! Get him, boys!" to yourself is an example of prohibited speech existing in a way that isn't harmful. But they're both harmful if used around others (and/or others' things, as the case may be). Both hate speech and explosives are regulated for that exact reason.
Did you read my post? Again: Your proposed wording makes no sense. And while capitalization may have been fluid, it's fairly common in the Constitution to capitalize "state" when referring to eg "the several States."
Yes. Did you read mine?
You keep saying it makes no sense with no further explanation, which I don't get. Change the capitalization to your recommendation - fine. Then you have the state's constitution saying "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."
How does that not make sense? A well regulated militia is necessary to the security of any (specifically, this particular) free state. So the right of the People (in this state) to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Simple. Logical. Grammatical. Understandable.
Again - what doesn't make sense here?
I don't recall saying it "cordoned off" the Federal government, or anything like that. However, if you read carefully, you'll notice that Congress only maintains those powers while the milita is in service of the Federal government. At all other times, the states had complete control over their own militia (this is how the Federalists got that section through, otherwise the Anti-Federalists would have gotten it amended so that it could not be used y the feds to destroy the miilta through neglect.
Well, essentially, since the states are so important, it is necessary to assure that the federal government cannot have a monopoly on military force.
But the federal government can assume control of the militia. The militia is not a protection against that.
Actually, rereading the thread, I'm not certain what you're saying with that to begin with (I'm pretty tired so I might just be missing it).
I know they're not in random places. I have already state the two rights are linked.
You say they are linked, and yet say that the right to bear arms is independent of the need for a militia. These statements are logically incompatible. Either they are linked, or they are not linked, but not both.
Of course, the first amendment contains freedom of speech and freedom of religion, so I guess those must be related too. And in a way they are; they are freedoms that Congress can pass no law abridging.
You're the one who brought up first amendment laws.
Right. And you accept laws limiting the exercise of freedom of speech as non-abridging. If it's OK to limit how, where, and when we can exercise free speech, why exactly are gun control laws automatically infringing? They can't be. Clearly there can be unreasonable gun control laws which violate the bill of rights, just as there can be for free speech. But that doesn't mean every law pertaining to either is automatically wrong or infringing on our rights.
I didn't realize while googling that Georgia has had about dozen constitutions, so I was reading the 1945 constitution. My apologies. Still, I have a hard time believing any of the 3 original states rejected the Bill of Rights because they did not believe in an individual right to bear arms.
No problem. A lot of states (but not all) have rewritten them. It can get very confusing very quickly keeping all the changes and dates straight.
I'm not saying that they did reject it for that reason. What I am saying is that (contrary to your assertion), these states very clearly linked the individual right to bear arms with the need for a militia.
I don't know where that came from... was I typing that at night? But at any rate, if it makes so much sense, why isn't the second amendment worded this way?
Because the US is not Massachusetts? Because the writers felt like wording it in a different, but equivalent, way?
It makes plenty of sense that Massachusetts adopted this language because that's (apparently) the language Massachusetts wanted, or at least what the majority faction in Massachusetts wanted. If you argue, as you did, that the 3 states which rejected the bill of rights had constitutions which granted a right to bear arms independent of anything else, it weakens the argument considerably (to say the least) to find these passages in their constitutions.