Breyer: Madison wrote 2nd Amendment to appease the states

posted at 10:12 am on December 13, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

It’s not just the Constitution that is a “living document,” as Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer proved yesterday when discussing the Second Amendment.  Breyer argued that James Madison only included the right to bear arms reluctantly, and only because the states wouldn’t sign the Constitution for fear of creating an overmighty central government.  That’s why he voted against the majority in the Heller decision that overturned the federal handgun ban in Washington DC:

Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” Breyer said history stands with the dissenters in the court’s decision to overturn a Washington, D.C., handgun ban in the 2008 case “D.C. v. Heller.”

Breyer wrote the dissent and was joined by Justices John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. He said historians would side with him in the case because they have concluded that Founding Father James Madison was more worried that the Constitution may not be ratified than he was about granting individuals the right to bear arms.

Madison “was worried about opponents who would think Congress would call up state militias and nationalize them. ‘That can’t happen,’ said Madison,” said Breyer, adding that historians characterize Madison’s priority as, “I’ve got to get this document ratified.”

Therefore, Madison included the Second Amendment to appease the states, Breyer said.

“If you’re interested in history, and in this one history was important, then I think you do have to pay attention to the story,” Breyer said. “If that was his motive historically, the dissenters were right. And I think more of the historians were with us.”

That’s a mighty big if, and it depends on ignoring the entire context of colonial life.  The founders didn’t envision government on any level being able to utterly secure public safety, not even in the cities.  Families needed guns for self-defense, and not just on the frontier from animals and hostile Native Americans and French and Spanish explorers, either.  Then, as now, if families waited for the local constabulary to protect them from thieves and marauders, they’d find themselves either dead or homeless in short order.

Madison also considered the right to bear arms an important check on federal power, too, and didn’t reluctantly come to that position to appease the states into signing the Constitution.  All Breyer needed to do to discover this was actually read Madison on the subject in Federalist 46, where Madison makes clear the role of states and men at arms in keeping the central government from overwhelming their sovereignty, emphases mine:

The only refuge left for those who prophesy the downfall of the State governments is the visionary supposition that the federal government may previously accumulate a military force for the projects of ambition. The reasonings contained in these papers must have been employed to little purpose indeed, if it could be necessary now to disprove the reality of this danger. That the people and the States should, for a sufficient period of time, elect an uninterupted succession of men ready to betray both; that the traitors should, throughout this period, uniformly and systematically pursue some fixed plan for the extension of the military establishment; that the governments and the people of the States should silently and patiently behold the gathering storm, and continue to supply the materials, until it should be prepared to burst on their own heads, must appear to every one more like the incoherent dreams of a delirious jealousy, or the misjudged exaggerations of a counterfeit zeal, than like the sober apprehensions of genuine patriotism. Extravagant as the supposition is, let it however be made. Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it. Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain, that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will and direct the national force, and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments, and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it. Let us not insult the free and gallant citizens of America with the suspicion, that they would be less able to defend the rights of which they would be in actual possession, than the debased subjects of arbitrary power would be to rescue theirs from the hands of their oppressors. Let us rather no longer insult them with the supposition that they can ever reduce themselves to the necessity of making the experiment, by a blind and tame submission to the long train of insidious measures which must precede and produce it.

The argument under the present head may be put into a very concise form, which appears altogether conclusive. Either the mode in which the federal government is to be constructed will render it sufficiently dependent on the people, or it will not. On the first supposition, it will be restrained by that dependence from forming schemes obnoxious to their constituents. On the other supposition, it will not possess the confidence of the people, and its schemes of usurpation will be easily defeated by the State governments, who will be supported by the people.

On summing up the considerations stated in this and the last paper, they seem to amount to the most convincing evidence, that the powers proposed to be lodged in the federal government are as little formidable to those reserved to the individual States, as they are indispensably necessary to accomplish the purposes of the Union; and that all those alarms which have been sounded, of a meditated and consequential annihilation of the State governments, must, on the most favorable interpretation, be ascribed to the chimerical fears of the authors of them.

That doesn’t sound at all like a man who had to reluctantly guarantee that Americans would have those arms at hand in the extremity of need.  Indeed, Madison makes his case poetically clear that the individual liberties the Constitution guaranteed against federal incursion were in fact guaranteed by the Second Amendment.  Breyer’s argument is fanciful at best, and self-serving to an inordinate degree.

Update: The American Pundit adds an important argument — so what?

But there’s another point here: Who cares what Madison’s intent was? Who cares why the Second Amendment was added? Who cares what the motivation for its inclusion was? It’s there.

Is Breyer now saying that judges, including the Supreme Court, can ignore rights specifically guaranteed in the Constitution based upon the motivation for their inclusion? That judges can decide explicit rights don’t exist because they weren’t included in good faith? Wow.

To say that’s a dangerous precedent is probably the biggest understatement on this blog. That would mean a judge could decide you no longer have the right to free speech or freedom of the press because, hey, those rights were only included to appease one group needed for ratification.

There is a difference between treating a constitution of any form as a philosophical statement and as a legal document.  The former is open for interpretation, while the latter should be used textually in order to make compliance and enforcement plain.  We have always considered the Constitution to be the foundational legal document of the United States, and that’s how the court should use it as well.  The Second Amendment, and everything else that’s in the Constitution, should be assumed to mean what it says, and if Congress and the states find that problematic, then they can amend it through the processes the Constitution prescribes for that purpose.


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Just spewed Diet Coke on my laptop!

ladyingray on December 13, 2010 at 3:57 PM

You know her so well.

Esthier on December 13, 2010 at 3:59 PM

You have someone to nominate?

Esthier on December 13, 2010 at 3:55 PM

David!!!

AsianGirlInTights on December 13, 2010 at 3:59 PM

I listened to his interview and was struck at how little the fellow knew of our history. No one on the Judiciary should have so little basic knowledge. Massively unqualified.

JIMV on December 13, 2010 at 4:06 PM

bflat879 on December 13, 2010 at 3:52 PM

I’ve read quite a lot on Madison, Jefferson, Hamilton, Adams, & Washington.
I do not agree with Breyer on Madison.
I don’t know how anyone could.
If you half studied any of those guys, anyone would realize none of them would have been iffy on the 2nd.
For God’s sake, the idea of it was why we won the Re^olution in the 1st place!
If the populace had not had been armed, then we would have had no individual firearms for many men who had fought.
Even Hamilton, the central govt guy, was an advocate.
If I’m not mistaken, he was one of the 1st guys to grab a gun when his college? was about to be overrun by the British.

Badger40 on December 13, 2010 at 4:09 PM

I haven’t heard such insane babblings since some KKK wannabe was trying to convince me that Jews are vampires.

Dark-Star on December 13, 2010 at 3:10 PM

its called humor..guess you’re too stupid to get it….

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:11 PM

David!!!

AsianGirlInTights on December 13, 2010 at 3:59 PM

Heh, but I don’t know a HA David. What’s the screenname?

Esthier on December 13, 2010 at 4:11 PM

Seriously, right. You don’t have a platform to rail on him for this.

yeah actually I do.

why don’t you just stay out of it?

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:11 PM

Holy shite, the amazing irony in this statement.

dakine on December 13, 2010 at 3:12 PM

its nothing compared the amazing stupidity of your posts.

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:14 PM

I haven’t heard such insane babblings since some KKK wannabe was trying to convince me that Jews are vampires.

Dark-Star on December 13, 2010 at 3:10 PM

Whoah.
It’s a KKK wannabe?
Who knew.
Now it’s confirmed since it responded to your bait.

Badger40 on December 13, 2010 at 4:14 PM

yeah actually I do.

why don’t you just stay out of it?

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:11 PM

Why don’t you stop being so stupid as to think any conversation you have on here is private, or that you have any special privileges? Better yet, why don’t you face up to the fact that no matter how tough you act on the internet, it won’t do anything to affect the size of your genitals?

MadisonConservative on December 13, 2010 at 4:15 PM

why don’t you just stay out of it?

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:11 PM

Or else what? You going to give me my scarlet letter again, or is that only when Madison says something to annoy you? I’m not sure all the ways I’ve wronged you and deserve to be told what a horrible Christian I am, but I’m sure I deserve it again for pointing out that you’re a pot.

Esthier on December 13, 2010 at 4:15 PM

If you cornered a liberal and made them read this after hearing one of their “foremost legal experts in the country” Justice Breyer comment on the 2nd amendment, I am certain they would answer “so what?”

Liberalism values using any means necessary to reach their desired ends, which they consider “good ends, so it’s ok to justify dishonest means to get there.”

Is Breyer now saying that judges, including the Supreme Court, can ignore rights specifically guaranteed in the Constitution based upon the motivation for their inclusion? To say that’s a dangerous precedent is probably the biggest understatement on this blog. That would mean a judge could decide you no longer have the right to free speech or freedom of the press because, hey, those rights were only included to appease one group needed for ratification.

I’ve talked to enough liberals to know they are a myopic and shortsighted group in general. They simply don’t care about details like that until it’s something they don’t like.

Final note: The groundwork for restricting free speech is called “hate speech” and the “fairness doctrine among other things.”

A true liberal is a tyrant in embryo.

scotash on December 13, 2010 at 4:16 PM

Religious nut-bag trolls here on HA have no bearing on what I consider myself.

Badger40 on December 13, 2010 at 3:14 PM

pot ~ kettle ~ black

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:16 PM

Or else what? You going to give me my scarlet letter again, or is that only when Madison says something to annoy you? I’m not sure all the ways I’ve wronged you and deserve to be told what a horrible Christian I am, but I’m sure I deserve it again for pointing out that you’re a pot.

Esthier on December 13, 2010 at 4:15 PM

again….

pot ~ kettle ~ black

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:16 PM

Why don’t you stop being so stupid as to think any conversation you have on here is private, or that you have any special privileges? Better yet, why don’t you face up to the fact that no matter how tough you act on the internet, it won’t do anything to affect the size of your genitals?

MadisonConservative on December 13, 2010 at 4:15 PM

why do you ALWAYS talk about my genitals?

sorry, you’re not my type…now go away and play in the park restrooms….and try to stick to guys that are over 18….

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:18 PM

KKK wannabe
Dark-Star on December 13, 2010 at 3:10 PM

Religious nut-bag trolls
Badger40 on December 13, 2010 at 3:14 PM

genitals

MadisonConservative on December 13, 2010 at 4:15 PM

pot ~ kettle ~ black

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:16 PM

You certainly know your name when it’s called.

Badger40 on December 13, 2010 at 4:21 PM

why do you ALWAYS talk about my genitals?

sorry, you’re not my type…now go away and play in the park restrooms….and try to stick to guys that are over 18….

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:18 PM

Why do you always talk like a NAMBLA member?

MadisonConservative on December 13, 2010 at 4:21 PM

again….

pot ~ kettle ~ black

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:16 PM

PeeWee’s “I know you are line” wasn’t really appropriate there. I only said that you have no standing (meaning, it’s hypocritical of you) to complain about someone else making a “holier than thou” comment because you’ve done it so many times yourself and continue to do so in this thread.

I’m not calling you a bad Christian. I obviously have an opinion on that, but I’m not listing it here. You, on the other hand, have listed your opinion on that subject here ad nauseum, and then have the nerve to tell others that it’s not appropriate.

You don’t get it both ways.

Esthier on December 13, 2010 at 4:24 PM

You certainly know your name when it’s called.

Badger40 on December 13, 2010 at 4:21 PM

That list, with just “genitals” at the end, reminds me of the clip of Olberman saying, “fart.” I don’t care the context. It’s funny.

Esthier on December 13, 2010 at 4:26 PM

You certainly know your name when it’s called.

Badger40 on December 13, 2010 at 4:21 PM

at least my name isn’t legion….

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:27 PM

Breyer: Madison wrote 2nd Amendment to appease the states

Everything in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and almost every law in the United States was written to appease someone.

So in Beyer’s learned opinion we can ignore all the laws…
Fun times will be a coming!

RJL on December 13, 2010 at 4:27 PM

Poor little right4life doesn’t remember which way is up

AsianGirlInTights on December 13, 2010 at 4:27 PM

Poor little right4life doesn’t remember which way is up

AsianGirlInTights on December 13, 2010 at 4:27 PM

I sure know stupid when I see it…

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:30 PM

DarkCurrent on December 13, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Somehow becoming a statue with a fat belly doesn’t exactly qualify as a vision of eternal bliss.

infidel4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:30 PM

Poor little right4life doesn’t remember which way is up

AsianGirlInTights on December 13, 2010 at 4:27 PM

Look for him to scatter soon, just like a roach…

ladyingray on December 13, 2010 at 4:30 PM

I only said that you have no standing (meaning, it’s hypocritical of you) to complain about someone else making a “holier than thou” comment because you’ve done it so many times yourself and continue to do so in this thread.

I don’t do it…you must be confused…its done to me constantly…and I find it amusing when atheists like dakine use that BS on me.

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:32 PM

I sure know stupid when I see it…

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:30 PM

You need to get yourself right with the Lord son.

dakine on December 13, 2010 at 4:32 PM

Look for him to scatter soon, just like a roach…

ladyingray on December 13, 2010 at 4:30 PM

naw I like pissing off wackos like you too much….its amusing as hell..

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:32 PM

You need to get yourself right with the Lord son.

dakine on December 13, 2010 at 4:32 PM

what dark lord are you talking about?

you’re an atheist wacko…can’t you come up with some new lines? but then intelligence isn’t your strong suit…

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:33 PM

Somehow becoming a statue with a fat belly doesn’t exactly qualify as a vision of eternal bliss.

infidel4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:30 PM

I guess you’re probably confusing Budai with Gautama Buddha.

It’s a common mistake among the ignorant.

DarkCurrent on December 13, 2010 at 4:34 PM

dakine on December 13, 2010 at 4:32 PM

oh since you’re a darwinist…please list LOWER RACES darwin was referring to:

“The more civilized so-called Caucasian races have beaten the Turkish hollow in the struggle for existence. Looking to the world at no very distant date, what an endless number of the lower races will have been eliminated by the higher civilised races throughout the world.” (Darwin, Charles R. [English naturalist and founder of the modern theory of evolution], “The Life of Charles Darwin”, [1902], Senate: London, 1995, reprint, p.64).

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:35 PM

I don’t do it…you must be confused…its done to me constantly…and I find it amusing when atheists like dakine use that BS on me.

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:32 PM

I must be confused? Yes, I must have imagined all the times you did it to me, or told me I was a wh*re or whatever. I must have imagined all the judgmental comments you’ve directed at me personally.

Esthier on December 13, 2010 at 4:36 PM

aw I like pissing off wackos like you too much….its amusing as hell..

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:32 PM

Hey gomer, you’ve got to be the dumbest mothereffer on the internet. You’re the clown providing the entertainment around here. You’re being toyed with like some sort of pathetic court jester.

dakine on December 13, 2010 at 4:36 PM

I sure know stupid when I see it…

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:30 PM

Mirrors must fill your home.

Badger40 on December 13, 2010 at 4:36 PM

Hey gomer, you’ve got to be the dumbest mothereffer on the internet. You’re the clown providing the entertainment around here. You’re being toyed with like some sort of pathetic court jester.

dakine on December 13, 2010 at 4:36 PM

LOL looks like I’m really gettin to ya…oh and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…since you saw me use ‘gomer’ on the other thread….

bet those fat jowls of yours are all red…isn’t that cute!!

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:37 PM

Mirrors must fill your home.

Badger40 on December 13, 2010 at 4:36 PM

at least I don’t break them.

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:37 PM

OMG it’s the Darwinist epithets again.
I knew we were gonna here this on this thread once our resident religious nut-bag troll showed up.

Badger40 on December 13, 2010 at 4:38 PM

dakine on December 13, 2010 at 4:36 PM

oh and uh…

You need to get yourself right with the Lord son.

dakine on December 13, 2010 at 4:32 PM

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:38 PM

I knew we were gonna here this on this thread once our resident religious nut-bag troll showed up.

Badger40 on December 13, 2010 at 4:38 PM

uh its ‘hear’ gomer…you faux christian foul-mouthed ‘lady’

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:39 PM

Badger40 on December 13, 2010 at 4:38 PM

and why don’t you answer the question…you racist troll.

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:39 PM

at least I don’t break them.

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:37 PM

Since nothing you have said in reply to any one of us has made sense, I guess I can assume you mean me being ugly is why I break mirrors?
Bcs I do not break mirrors as some sort of habit, on purpose or accidental.
And I am comfortable with my looks.
I do not need you to approve of them, or anything i say here.
You are part of what is wrong with this country.

Badger40 on December 13, 2010 at 4:39 PM

naw I like pissing off wackos like you too much….its amusing as hell..

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:32 PM

How am I a wacko?

ladyingray on December 13, 2010 at 4:39 PM

LOL looks like I’m really gettin to ya…oh and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…since you saw me use ‘gomer’ on the other thread….

bet those fat jowls of yours are all red…isn’t that cute!!

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:37 PM

I’m mocking you jackass. You are one dumb mofo.

dakine on December 13, 2010 at 4:40 PM

I must be confused? Yes, I must have imagined all the times you did it to me, or told me I was a wh*re or whatever. I must have imagined all the judgmental comments you’ve directed at me personally.

Esthier on December 13, 2010 at 4:36 PM

you need to get some professional help, and get over it.

I don’t hold anything against you…I’m sorry you do.

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:40 PM

I’m mocking you jackass. You are one dumb mofo.

dakine on December 13, 2010 at 4:40 PM

uh yeah SURE you are!! LOL

bet the spittle is running down those fat jowls you’re so mad!!

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:41 PM

and why don’t you answer the question…you racist troll.

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:39 PM

huh?

ladyingray on December 13, 2010 at 4:42 PM

I’m mocking you jackass. You are one dumb mofo.

dakine on December 13, 2010 at 4:40 PM

so are you angry because you think I’ve defamed your hairygod darwin, or just because I’ve made you look so stupid AGAIN!!

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:42 PM

How am I a wacko?

ladyingray on December 13, 2010 at 4:39 PM

wackos of a feather flock together….you joined in…if you can’t take the heat get out of the kitchen.

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:44 PM

mean me being ugly is why I break mirrors?
Bcs I do not break mirrors as some sort of habit, on purpose or accidental.

Badger40 on December 13, 2010 at 4:39 PM

looks like the truth hurts….

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:45 PM

bet the spittle is running down those fat jowls you’re so mad!!

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:41 PM

I’ve noticed that when upset, you often suggest people you’ve never seen are fat. Do you have weight issues?

DarkCurrent on December 13, 2010 at 4:45 PM

You are part of what is wrong with this country.

Badger40 on December 13, 2010 at 4:39 PM

I’m sure you have a FINAL SOLUTION in mind to fix things…

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:45 PM

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:44 PM

I don’t consider AsianGirlInTights to be a wacko. Please explain why she and I are wackos.

If you can.

ladyingray on December 13, 2010 at 4:45 PM

you need to get some professional help, and get over it.

I don’t hold anything against you…I’m sorry you do.

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:40 PM

I’m just about the only one here not insulting you personally, but please, continue acting as you do. I don’t need to bring up past quotes to embarrass you. These people have longer memories than you give them credit for.

Esthier on December 13, 2010 at 4:46 PM

I’ve noticed that when upset, you often suggest people you’ve never seen are fat. Do you have weight issues?

DarkCurrent on December 13, 2010 at 4:45 PM

I was going to ask if you had intelligence issues..but the answer is rather obvious….

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:46 PM

ladyingray on December 13, 2010 at 4:45 PM

That little douche things everyone is a wacko if they disagree with him. Just wait – eventually he’ll start calling you ugly or fat, to show his real intellectual prowess.

MadisonConservative on December 13, 2010 at 4:47 PM

I’m just about the only one here not insulting you personally, but please, continue acting as you do. I don’t need to bring up past quotes to embarrass you. These people have longer memories than you give them credit for.

Esthier on December 13, 2010 at 4:46 PM

look I’m not bringing up any past issues with us…I will apologize that I ever hurt your feelings.

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:47 PM

Speak of the devil, he’s already done it.

The leopard never changes his spots, nor the turd his stench.

MadisonConservative on December 13, 2010 at 4:47 PM

That little douche things everyone is a wacko if they disagree with him. Just wait – eventually he’ll start calling you ugly or fat, to show his real intellectual prowess.

MadisonConservative on December 13, 2010 at 4:47 PM

at least I won’t talk about your genitals…especially since theres not much to talk about….

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:48 PM

I was going to ask if you had intelligence issues..but the answer is rather obvious….

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:46 PM

So, you’re both fat and stupid. How does this make you feel?

DarkCurrent on December 13, 2010 at 4:48 PM

I’ve noticed that when upset, you often suggest people you’ve never seen are fat. Do you have weight issues?

DarkCurrent on December 13, 2010 at 4:45 PM

I’d say the “final solution” one comes up more often.

Esthier on December 13, 2010 at 4:48 PM

I don’t consider AsianGirlInTights to be a wacko. Please explain why she and I are wackos.

If you can.

ladyingray on December 13, 2010 at 4:45 PM

sure, as soon as you explain why you decided to pile on…since I don’t know who the hell you are.

as far as the asiangirl….who cares?

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:49 PM

I’d say the “final solution” one comes up more often.

Esthier on December 13, 2010 at 4:48 PM

well you know if the jack-boots fit…

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:50 PM

So, you’re both fat and stupid. How does this make you feel?

DarkCurrent on December 13, 2010 at 4:48 PM

good, I’m glad to have annoyed you…especially given your idiotic statement from earlier.

KKK duhhhhhhhh

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:51 PM

gotta go….you can all keep talking about me…since its rather obvious I’m always on your minds…

LOL

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:52 PM

good, I’m glad to have annoyed you…especially given your idiotic statement from earlier.

KKK duhhhhhhhh

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:51 PM

Which statement of mine made you upset?

DarkCurrent on December 13, 2010 at 4:53 PM

I’m just about the only one here not insulting you personally, but please, continue acting as you do. I don’t need to bring up past quotes to embarrass you. These people have longer memories than you give them credit for.

Esthier on December 13, 2010 at 4:46 PM

How’s
this?

ladyingray on December 13, 2010 at 4:53 PM

look I’m not bringing up any past issues with us…I will apologize that I ever hurt your feelings.

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:47 PM

I’d accept this as a well intentioned change, but why not acknowledge that this is something you did in the past and that you’re changing it? I’d have an easier time believing you’re sincere if you wouldn’t ignore the past.

Esthier on December 13, 2010 at 4:55 PM

Textualism solves most of these “what if” questions, Rhino.

Arms

In Colonial times “arms” usually meant weapons that could be carried. This included knives, swords, rifles and pistols. Dictionaries of the time had a separate definition for “ordinance” (as it was spelled then) meaning cannon. Any hand held, non-ordnance type weapons, are theoretically constitutionally protected. Obviously nuclear weapons, tanks, rockets, fighter planes, and submarines are not.

warden on December 13, 2010 at 11:59 AM

Though conceptually, the environment of “Textualism” accommodates a limited defintion — a highly specific “noun” approach to what “arms” means — it’s a diminished or avoidance tactic to avoid the overall concept of what the term itself (“arms”) means, as per the 2nd Amendment.

It MEANS “arms” as in, “to take up arms,” the right of citizens to “take up arms,” to arm themselves.

It’s not a case of WHAT arms but of the right to take that action, however it manifests.

Complaint:
“You shot an unarmed man!”

Retort:
“Well, he should have armed himself.”

The action there is what is important: “the right to keep and bear arms.”

Or, in popular slang, “the right to own, access and use arms” or weapons, whatever one “arms” ones self with.

UNFORTUNATELY, we have today so many regulations and restrictions on specifically named “arms” that most citizens only have access to firearms and other projective weapons such as bows and arrows, BUT the point there as to our right as citizens is to arm ourselves and to “bear” them (or use them) as we deem fit.

If we follow, instead, the waylaying notion that we must restrict our definitions of terms used in the Constitution to a limited, historical context during which any of the Constitution’s texts were written, then we’ll all be, literally, dressing up and behaving as if in theatre, on a stage in period-costume-per-the-text.

Or waving muskets when called to defend ourselves and our fellow men.

Lourdes on December 13, 2010 at 4:58 PM

This is more proof that Justice Breyer is unqualified to be on the Supreme Court. He seems to be functionally illiterate, and then make judgements based on misunderstanding what he reads.

JavelinaBomb on December 13, 2010 at 12:12 PM

Agreed.

Lourdes on December 13, 2010 at 5:00 PM

Why don’t we just arm bears?

coldwarrior on December 13, 2010 at 5:02 PM

How’s
this?

ladyingray on December 13, 2010 at 4:53 PM

If those are the comments he’s apologizing for, it’s a nice change of pace, but I don’t believe you can apologize for things like that by ignoring them.

Esthier on December 13, 2010 at 5:04 PM

and why don’t you answer the question…you racist troll.

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 4:39 PM

Far as I can see on this thread, you posed no question toward me.

Badger40 on December 13, 2010 at 5:04 PM

If those are the comments he’s apologizing for, it’s a nice change of pace, but I don’t believe you can apologize for things like that by ignoring them.

Esthier on December 13, 2010 at 5:04 PM

Not if you claim to be a Christian, you can’t.

ladyingray on December 13, 2010 at 5:06 PM

You don’t need a .50 rifle to take down a squirrel.

Dark-Star on December 13, 2010 at 1:41 PM

Well, you do if a .50 is all you have available to you. Or try throwing stones or setting traps for 45 days first…

Lourdes on December 13, 2010 at 5:12 PM

I truly think right4insanity is a teenager.
This would explain the intellectual level of all of its replies to us.
The exchanges it has had here with us sound just like what my HS students have to say to each other.
But I am sad it’s gone.
I get amused at the Darwinist epithets it flings.
I think it’s a HuffPo or DailyKos plant.
And the assault on my looks is hilarious.
I remeber Drywall calling me ugly.
It is so bizarre to rant & rave about people’s appearances here when they cannot see you.
I will say one thing: right4insanity is a very ugly person deep down in its soul.

Badger40 on December 13, 2010 at 5:13 PM

Why don’t we just arm bears?

coldwarrior on December 13, 2010 at 5:02 PM

My grandmother said that her parents were sure that what the original, and colloquial, meaning of the word, “arms” as in “the right to bear arms,” was as to flags, the printed symbols that clans and later armies marched into battles with, displaying their identity.

“Arms” originally, long ago, back in Olde England, referred to ARMAMENTS of identity, a group’s “colors” or crest/s.

Lourdes on December 13, 2010 at 5:15 PM

Why don’t we just arm bears?

coldwarrior on December 13, 2010 at 5:02 PM

My grandmother said that her parents were sure that what the original, and colloquial, meaning of the word, “arms” as in “the right to bear arms,” was as to flags, the printed symbols that clans and later armies marched into battles with, displaying their identity.

“Arms” originally, long ago, back in Olde England, referred to ARMAMENTS of identity, a group’s “colors” or crest/s.

Lourdes on December 13, 2010 at 5:15 PM

Because, unfortunately for the “Olde English,” their monarchy refused the little guys and gals the right to own weapons or use them. No guns (later), just walk into battle waving your family crest and start slugging away with deer antlers and stones.

Lourdes on December 13, 2010 at 5:16 PM

This asshat needs to be impeached.

Viper1 on December 13, 2010 at 5:17 PM

It is so bizarre to rant & rave about people’s appearances here when they cannot see you.

Badger40 on December 13, 2010 at 5:13 PM

I’ve always thought those were funny, especially the comments calling others fat, as though fat people write a certain way or something. Plus, I’ve always been a little small, and it was a stupid joke friends played in high school to call me fat.

Esthier on December 13, 2010 at 5:17 PM

Lourdes on December 13, 2010 at 5:15 PM

Same in Germanic….

But, the “arms” which are included in the Second Amendment are not mere flags of clans or families or other groupings, and the Federalist papers and other sources show this to be true. After all, it was an armed citizenry that got the ball of Revolution rolling…and the Founders knew this, as well, to be true.

Their fear? Big government, repressive government, government turned over by design or crook to a new class of aristocracy or oiligarchs who would use governance to enrich themselves and their followers on the backs of the rest of the citizens.

Thus, enshrined in our Constitution is one of the last ditches available to us when an assault on our freedoms hits our crumbling parapets….us, the armed citizen.

coldwarrior on December 13, 2010 at 5:21 PM

It is so bizarre to rant & rave about people’s appearances here when they cannot see you.

Badger40 on December 13, 2010 at 5:13 PM

Esthier on December 13, 2010 at 5:17 PM

I always imagine you two as a couple of hot blondes.

DarkCurrent on December 13, 2010 at 5:21 PM

a) Aren’t women in the majority in America?

Numerically, but not in terms of political power.

b) So there are circumstances under which democratic mechanisms are insufficient?

Yes.

What would you rely on? Written law?

DarkCurrent on December 13, 2010 at 12:23 PM

If by written law you mean legislative enactments, obviously not, no. It would defeat the point of resorting to courts for the vindication of minority rights if courts could only protect minorities consistent with the popular will as expressed through legislative enactments. That is, the courts could not protect minorities from legislatures if they were bound to use the legislature’s definition of “minorities.”

crr6 on December 13, 2010 at 5:22 PM

Esthier on December 13, 2010 at 5:17 PM

Fat people write…. FAT! Oh.. and they’re racist DARWINISTS! right4insanity

BTW Esthier-if you want, ask ladyingray about me if you want to friend me on FB.
I respect & enjoy your opinions.

Badger40 on December 13, 2010 at 5:22 PM

I always imagine you two as a couple of hot blondes.

DarkCurrent on December 13, 2010 at 5:21 PM

LMAO!!!

Badger40 on December 13, 2010 at 5:22 PM

LMAO!!!

Badger40 on December 13, 2010 at 5:22 PM

Thus spake the fiery red-head… :-)

coldwarrior on December 13, 2010 at 5:26 PM

BTW Esthier-if you want, ask ladyingray about me if you want to friend me on FB.
I respect & enjoy your opinions.

Badger40 on December 13, 2010 at 5:22 PM

I’ve already sent a friend request to her for you! :D

ladyingray on December 13, 2010 at 5:27 PM

Breyer is a perfect example of why we have the need for the 2nd Amendment! His tyrannical thinking would have us like the Soviet Union in no time flat. Tar & Feather him…better yet…

wepeople on December 13, 2010 at 5:29 PM

If by written law you mean legislative enactments, obviously not, no. It would defeat the point of resorting to courts for the vindication of minority rights if courts could only protect minorities consistent with the popular will as expressed through legislative enactments. That is, the courts could not protect minorities from legislatures if they were bound to use the legislature’s definition of “minorities.”

crr6 on December 13, 2010 at 5:22 PM

So I take it we shouldn’t resort to courts or the written law?

What should we do then? Just make it up as we go along?

DarkCurrent on December 13, 2010 at 5:31 PM

I had 15 minutes to kill before leaving work.
Is this our right4insanity hater?
If the photos of the dark haired woman on this blog are our right4insanity, she seems to be such a normal looking person to espouse such utter hatred & vileness.
Hopefully I am wrong.
But then nasty evil people can often fool you by looking like the warmest, normal looking citizens.
Too bad.

Badger40 on December 13, 2010 at 5:39 PM

What should we do then? Just make it up as we go along?

DarkCurrent on December 13, 2010 at 5:31 PM

Nothing new here, the liberals have been doing this for most of my adult lifetime

coldwarrior on December 13, 2010 at 5:40 PM

I always imagine you two as a couple of hot blondes.

DarkCurrent on December 13, 2010 at 5:21 PM

Funny. I always imagine you as a bald Batman.

BTW Esthier-if you want, ask ladyingray about me if you want to friend me on FB.
I respect & enjoy your opinions.

Badger40 on December 13, 2010 at 5:22 PM

I suspect she already started on that if my email is to be trusted. Tick fan?

Esthier on December 13, 2010 at 5:41 PM

Hopefully I am wrong.

Badger40 on December 13, 2010 at 5:39 PM

I think you are. Unless right4life is lying, he’s a black male. I’d guess he’s in his 20s or 30s, but I don’t recall if that’s a conversation we ever had.

Esthier on December 13, 2010 at 5:44 PM

So I take it we shouldn’t resort to courts or the written law?

DarkCurrent on December 13, 2010 at 5:31 PM

Hm? No, we should resort to courts, obviously.

crr6 on December 13, 2010 at 5:44 PM

impeach him, plain and simple. if he refuses to uphold the freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution then he is unfit for office. its high time the congress reined in these gusy. it will also send a message to the rest of the judiciary. their over-reaching power grab is over. the people of this country will not be ruled by unelected robed tyrants.

chasdal on December 13, 2010 at 5:44 PM

Here in Kansas we just voted to clarify that the 2nd amendment does in fact guarantee the individual right to bear arms. It passed overwhelmingly. Problem solved.

vinceautmorire on December 13, 2010 at 5:49 PM

Lourdes on December 13, 2010 at 5:15 PM

Same in Germanic….

But, the “arms” which are included in the Second Amendment are not mere flags of clans or families or other groupings, and the Federalist papers and other sources show this to be true. After all, it was an armed citizenry that got the ball of Revolution rolling…and the Founders knew this, as well, to be true.

Their fear? Big government, repressive government, government turned over by design or crook to a new class of aristocracy or oiligarchs who would use governance to enrich themselves and their followers on the backs of the rest of the citizens.

Thus, enshrined in our Constitution is one of the last ditches available to us when an assault on our freedoms hits our crumbling parapets….us, the armed citizen.

coldwarrior on December 13, 2010 at 5:21 PM

Yes, I agree, coldwarrior.

And what you write there, in comparison with the earlier, colloquial understanding of what “arms” as in, “armaments” meant (what I referred to in 5:15 PM comments), points out the pitfalls of trying to squeeze our 2nd Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms into fixed definitions per the “historical” time or context in which the Constitutional contents were written, why that’s a failing method as to the concept and meaning of just what “arms” is (handguns versus rifles versus muskets versus guns versus canons versus tanks versus…).

That means, “textualism” fails as to understanding (and representing) what the 2nd Amendment means (as also the rest of the Constitution).

The specific definitions of certain words change per the usage of such (why colloquialisms change) but the important concept of the 2nd is in the “right” itself, the action involved, the ability to act in the 2nd’s specific right defined: to keep and bear arms.

Which should, to wise and informed people, quickly be understood and recognized as our right to individual, armed defense, to function, then, individually and collectively toward that self defense using “arms” to do so (we have that “right” to do so, it’s also a requirement in that context of militia, I believe, too).

Lourdes on December 13, 2010 at 5:49 PM

Hm? No, we should resort to courts, obviously.

crr6 on December 13, 2010 at 5:44 PM

In other words, make it up as we go.

ladyingray on December 13, 2010 at 5:51 PM

ladyingray on December 13, 2010 at 4:53 PM
Badger40 on December 13, 2010 at 5:39 PM
Esthier on December 13, 2010 at 5:44 PM

yes I’m always on your minds!! LOL

just laughable. talk about obsessed…all of you please get some professional help.

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 5:58 PM

Funny. I always imagine you as a bald Batman.

Esthier on December 13, 2010 at 5:41 PM

I have long black hair, but my abs do look like Batman’s.

DarkCurrent on December 13, 2010 at 6:00 PM

Here in Kansas we just voted to clarify that the 2nd amendment does in fact guarantee the individual right to bear arms. It passed overwhelmingly. Problem solved.

vinceautmorire on December 13, 2010 at 5:49 PM

unfortunately some court will come along and ‘redefine’ it like they did with KELO…

our laws and constitution mean whatever the courts say they mean…the republic and democracy are a charade…

right4life on December 13, 2010 at 6:01 PM

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