Posted on Oct 11, 2015
Capt Richard I P.
There's been a lot of debate about firearms and firearm ownership recently. I've been a part of a lot of it. I think one thing that is achingly necessary is some close reading of the Second Amendment itself. I slapped together a powerpoint for my sister a few years ago on the topic, and will post the text here with the title slide as an image (because it outlines the argument.)

2. Inherent Right to Self Defense
All persons entitled to defend their lives
A threat to one’s life can only be answered with deadly force
Not granted by society, intrinsic to life
Denial of this is endorsement of cannibalism
Granted by God or by nature
Not everyone believes in god
Not everyone can follow this level of philosophy

3. Constitutional Protection
Is highest law of the land
Any law lower that contradicts is null
Many laws already contradict constitution and should be held null but are not
Committing some wrongs do not mean we need to commit more
Only entity Officers of US swear to support and defend
Supreme Court interprets BUT
Has ruled badly in past i.e. Dred Scott
Usually rules against individual liberty

4. Original Intent
Only way to address constitution
Interpreting as we please renders document meaningless
Must obey as written, guided by intent
If desired can AMMEND text

5. Original Intent: Text Analysis

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.
Assisted by Webster’s dictionary 1828. Constitution drafted 1789 Most founders knew Noah Webster (he edited some Federalist papers), he likely represented their ideas of words, Oxford English Dictionary also an option, but requires pay access.
Well regulated: “Adjusted by rule, method or forms; put in good order” disciplined, capable, well-drilled, well-trained, able
Militia: “The militia of a country are the able bodied men organized into companies, regiments and brigades, with officers of all grades, and required by law to attend military exercises on certain days only, but at other times left to pursue their usual occupations” men between ages of 15 and 45 able to bear arms, who drill and are available for call-up
Necessary: “1. That must be; that cannot be otherwise; indispensably requisite. It is necessary that every effect should have a cause. 3. Unavoidable; as a necessary inference or consequence from facts or arguments.”
Free: 2. In government, not enslaved; not in a state of vassalage or dependence; subject only to fixed laws, made by consent, and to a regular administration of such laws; not subject to the arbitrary will of a sovereign or lord; as a free state, nation or people. The opposite of how the colonists felt themselves under Britain.
State: 5. A political body, or body politic; the whole body of people united under one government, whatever may be the form of the government. All people united under government.
Right: “10. Just claim; immunity; privilege. All men have a right to the secure enjoyment of life, personal safety, liberty and property. We deem the right of trial by jury invaluable, particularly in the case of crimes. Rights are natural, civil, political, religious, personal, and public. 11. Authority; legal power. We have no right to disturb others in the enjoyment of their religious opinions.” Not subject to restriction.
People: “1. The body of persons who compose a community, town, city or nation.” All people, not necessarily united in government.
Keep: “1. To hold; to retain in one's power or possession; not to lose or part with; as, to keep a house or a farm; to keep any thing in the memory, mind or heart. 2. To have in custody for security or preservation.” To possess under your own power.
Bear: 2. To carry; to convey; to support and remove from place to place; as, "they bear him upon the shoulder;", "the eagle beareth them on her wings.“12. To possess and use as power; to exercise; as, to bear sway.” Carry anywhere.
Arms: “1. Weapons of offense, or armor for defense and protection of the body. Sire arms, are such as may be charged with powder, as cannon, muskets, mortars, &c. A stand of arms consists of a musket, bayonet, cartridge-box and belt, with a sword. But for common soldiers a sword is not necessary.” Not Small Arms, a Stand of Arms, no “except sire arms or crew-served weapons or cannon”.
Shall not be: not may not or maybe not, or might be, or could be
infringed: “Broken; violated; transgresses.”

6. Constitutional Protection: Key Words
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.
Words were chosen carefully.
It is the people, not the state, states or militia whose right shall not to be infringed.
The right is to keep and bear arms, not to access, practice or only keep or only bear.
Arms are not small arms, are not a specific type of arms, there is no prohibition on types arms, understanding of larger weapons with high lethality (mortars and cannon) was widespread

7. Defend Self From Government
Founders had observed war of self defense against government
Understood risk of tyrannical government and wanted to guarantee balance of power
Jefferson even endorsed violent clashes
Modern militias CAN challenge national forces
Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Ukraine
Numerical, terrain advantages, capture of equipment and defection from government forces quickly even odds.

8. Defend Self From Government
Governments are scary
They kill more people than criminals BY FAR
In the 20th century most countries herded citizens into concentration camps at one point or another (US to Japanese)
It is hard to herd armed people into camps
Nazi Gun Control legislation enabled their genocides (JPFO studies on this-also link US Gun Control Act of 1968 to the Nazi text directly)
Armed Jews are scarier than disarmed Jews: Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

9. Defend Self From Government
The first gun control law National Firearms Act of 1934 was wrought with problems
Allegedly a revenue raising measure, not a ban
State’s case claimed short barreled shotguns in specific were not militia weapons as not used by any military (falsely)
Ignored that NFA 1934 also taxed Machine Guns, definitely used by Militaries
No defense counsel or brief submitted to Supreme Court
Very tricky, specific, semi-dishonest argument involving serial numbers won case
Even the A-USA in the first gun case before the court acknowledged the 2nd amendment is intended to protect military style weapons.
Registration leads to confiscation, there has been no example of national registration schemes not followed by confiscation of some or all registered weapons

10. Defend Self From Government
Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Weapons, Autonomous Weapons?
These are scary
People probably should not have them
Maybe we need a constitutional amendment
I would prefer governments not have them either, they are the only ones proven to have used them before, and will likely again.

11. Defend Self From Criminals
It is certain that in addition to protection from government, people are entitled to protect themselves from violence by criminals
This derives from the natural right to self defense
Founders understood the need, living before an era of police, and it is acceptable to argue this as a reason AFTER arguing protection for government (same with hunting)
Police cannot respond fast enough to save lives, just investigate after
Police cannot have legal obligation to protect people’s lives (case law has held this)

12. Defend Self From Criminals
Criminals do not obey laws-hence they are criminals
They will not obey gun laws
Only law abiding citizens will
Ordering the law abiding to disarm creates easy victims: “victim disarmament”
Any area the law abiding citizen’s right to bear arms is infringed will become a target for a criminal: ALL of the recent mass shootings occurred in legal (albeit unconstitutional) ‘gun-free’ zones
Lawful gun owners OFTEN end shootings with minimal or NO casualties.
Not being armed equally to criminals means the law abiding fight at disadvantage
Reload times kill (must have full capacity mags)
Don’t require the law abiding to bring a knife to a gun fight or a pistol to a rifle fight, or fists to an anything fight

13. Bad Arguments
It is bad to end the debate with god or nature and not include the constitution, most people cant handle esoteric, or belief arguments. This argument shuts down debate.
It is bad to interpret the constitution however we please, this renders it useless. This argument shuts down the debate.
It is bad to begin the argument of defense of self from government but not follow it all the way through its logical progression, that all existing gun control law is null as unconstitutional. This surrenders logical consistency and truth.
It is bad to begin to argue pragmatics on crime and self protection without including first protection from government, it is not the intent of the amendment.
It is wrong to even allow the opponents to use the phrases (let alone use them ourselves) ‘hunting and sporting’ these are not the intent of the amendment, do not derive from the right to self defense, and most importantly come from GCA 1968 which came from Nazi Gun Control laws

14. Definitions (Military not Legal)
Vehicles usually require a crew to employ and always require a large crew to maintain
E.G. Tanks, Helicopters, Jets, Armored Cars
Crew Served Weapons (CSW) require 2 or more people to employ
Cannon: CSW Large gun 40mm or larger, usually direct fire (flat trajectory)
Howitzer: CSW Large Indirect fire cannon
Mortar: CSW High angle indirect fire weapon
Grenade launcher: gun that fires grenades usually 37 mm or larger (close range indirect fire)
Machine Gun: CSW (usually) Often Belt Fed Gun that fires as long as the trigger is depressed, Heavy is .50cal Medium is .308cal and light .223 Cal (or near these calibers in soviet arms)
Sniper/Special purpose scoped rifle: CSW (when properly used) Long range (1000+ yd) rifle with a scope usually .308 cal or above
Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR): Medium Range (500-800 yds) rifle with a scope, usually .308 cal
Battle Rifle: Medium Range rifle (0-500 yds)
Assault rifle: Smaller caliber rifle for use by assault force, not suppression, light, close-range (0-300)
Carbine: Smaller caliber or powder compromise between a rifle and a submachine gun used for people not expected to be in combat or who MUST have light weight (paratroopers etc.) (0-300)
Submachine Gun: SMG small carbine that shoots a pistol caliber to limit recoil used for very close work that requires fast fires close assault, room clearing (0-100 yds)
Shotgun: Large bore gun for close range work can be automatic, semi-automatic or pump, usually fed fro m a tubular internal magazine newer models include detachable (0-100 yds)
Machine Pistol: An SMG, or a small SMG that looks like a pistol
Pistol: Semi automatic , automatic , or revolving chambered gun operable with one hand with much less powder than even a carbine round (often in calibers .45 and below)
Clip: a stripper clip has a number of rounds held together on a piece of metal for pushing into the gun rapidly, there they are stored in an internal magazine, “stripper” clips push the rounds off and into the magazine “en bloc” clips go into the guns magazine themselves
Magazine: Where rounds are stored before firing , internal magazines are rare anymore, much more common are detachable magazines often abbreviated “mags” the only military reason for limiting capacity is weight and unwieldy designs, this usually results in 20 rounds for .308, 30 for .223 and around 8-20 for pistols based on caliber size
It has become a legal debate since someone arbitrarily picked “10” as a magazine capacity limit in California, anti gunners say “high capacity” pro gun folk say “full capacity” or just “mag”
Belt: Disintegrating or reloaded (older or soviet) belts fire all rounds linked together fed from a bag or a box. Machineguns use this

Ammunition Round (Ammo, round or Cartridge) the complete package a gun fires (powder, bullet, casing, primer)
Bullet: Projectile that flies from a gun usually smaller and non-explosive
Casing: the brass that encases the powder, crimps to the bullet and holds the primer, ejects from gun after firing
Round: Individual unit of complete ammunition, includes bullet, casing, powder and primer
Shell: Canon or Howitzer bullet OR shotgun complete usually with plastic casing
Grenade: small explosive, can be designed to be thrown (hand-grenade) or fired from a launcher (it can only be either-or)
Caliber: imperial measures from groove to groove in hundredths of an inch diameter ex. .308
MM: metric measurements of lands to lands in mm, usually followed by a metric measurement of the length of the cartridge ex. 7.62x51

15. Rapid responses to opponents
Mass killings:
Not statistically rising or falling
Occur with similar volume and intensity per capita in nations with intense arms control (wiki rampage killings)
Highest casualty US school killing was in the 1920s, used explosives
Legally obtained automatic weapons have been used in 2 crimes in US history, one by a cop
Cops commit more illegal gun violence than concealed carry permit holders
Why don’t cops get mugged?
Guns are equalizers: 225lb 6’2 man vs 5’9 120lb woman: the outcome only changes when she has a gun

16. Pro Gun Organizations (Biased list)
Revolutionary War Veterans of America
Teach the historical connection between guns and the revolution, skills necessary to shoot
“no politics after 1776”
Gun Owners of America
Second biggest Pro gun lobby, second highest profile, very libertarian
“The only no-compromise gun lobby In Washington” –Ron Paul
National Association for Gun Rights
Rocky Mountain roots, anti-UN streak
“No compromise” est. 2000
Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership
Scholarship on gun control and genocide, especially Nazism
“America’s most Aggressive Defender of Firearms Ownership”
Citizens for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
Strong critic of Obama Policies, especially fast and furious
“The Common Sense Gun Lobby”
National Rifle Association
The big dog, huge money (even its opponents admit the bulk of this comes from individual gun owners)
More willing to compromise than the above, but being pushed away from compromise by the above
Founded by Union Army Officers to ensure marksmanship for future soldiers
Independent Firearms Owners Association
Enforce the laws we have now, don’t persecute gun owners, NRA has gone too conservative because of the above
“Effective Solutions for Complex Criminal Justice Problems”
Libertarians: (good youtube video, some articles)
Cato Institute
Edited >1 y ago
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Responses: 125
SGT Jimmy Carpenter
"Shall not be infringed"

No interpretation needed.
Sgt Clarence Couch
Sgt Clarence Couch
1 mo
CPT (Join to see) -"1. Better to be ignorant of a matter, than to only half know it."
I disagree. Simple math: If you're ignorant, you're 100% off, if you know half you're only 50% off. i'd rather be the latter.

"4. Ignorant people raise questions that wise men answered a thousand years ago.' PROOF?
"5. I do not pretend to know of what so many ignorant men are certain of.": WHY WASTE ANY TIME ON THAT?
"6. Ignorant men don’t know what's good, until they’ve flung it away.' UMM SOMEONE IS CONFUSING FOOLISH FOR IGNORANT.
"7. Whatever the cost of our libraries, that price is cheap compared to the cost of an ignorant citizenry.' oH SO NOW A wet BLANKET OVER "WE THE PEOPLE"? FALLACY ALERT!
"8. Men know that women are an intellectual overmatch for them. Therefore the stupid among us often choose the weakest or the most ignorant from among them." UMM I DISAGREE WITH THAT. A STUPID MAN WOULDN'T KNOW THAT ABOUT WOMEN. IMO, male'female relationships naturally self adjust.

"9. Everyone knows everything – all of them – all the time – no matter how stupid, or inexperienced, or arrogant, or ignorant, they happen to be." I always disagree with absolutes. AND again, someone has confused ignorant and stupid with foolish.
PV2 Larry Sellnow
PV2 Larry Sellnow
30 d
SGT Jimmy Carpenter tell us how we keep the looney tunes from legally obtaining the firearms they use for these mass shootings. A good number of mass shooters obtained the firearms they use legally. Think on that a bit Then suggest a way to stop that from taking place IN other words put up or shut up about shall not be infringed BS You know dam wel there are p[eople out there that should never be allowed to legally obtain fire arms. Yes they may get them by illegal means but at least we close one door to them Also close the loophole on background checks for private sales
SSgt Cindy Pucillo
SSgt Cindy Pucillo
19 d
And the "Well-regulated militia"?
SSgt Roland Cooper
SSgt Roland Cooper
9 d
Dont be afraid of back-ground checks. Background checks and red flag laws are "common sense" and DO NOT INFRINGE on 2nd amendment for Christ sake. Is it really that hard to admit our country has a problem? Are Americans that weak? Do we all need to sign up for a 2nd Amendment 12-step program? Countries around the world have the exact same mental challenges as our fellow citizens and DO NOT COME CLOSE to shooting and killing each other in excess of 40K EVERY YEAR. Grow up. Put your big boy pants on. I was a military marksmanship instructor for every one of the members assigned to our base. Do you think for a second, I could walk around our base with a side arm and not have passed a MILITARY BACKGROUND CHECK? We have well-regulated militias around our country. They are called the NATIONAL GUARD and EVERY Guard Unit rolls up to their state governor. In Addition - the British aren't coming, and the native American's are not threatening your fort. Sure, hunt for your food if you wish. I don't think you will hunt with a musket. By the way... the man who designed the M-16/AR-15 for the United States Military {Eugene Stoner} never owned a M-16/AR-15. Watch the interviews online with his family. He was an avid hunter and fisherman. He never personally owned the military weapon he designed. Why? Because they are weapons of war. Specifically designed for the person shot to bleed out quickly. That is easy to understand. Every wonder why we don't see pictures of the little children who are murdered by some nut job using an AR15? Their little bodies are destroyed.
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Capt Seid Waddell
Edited >1 y ago
The Bill of Rights was intended to protect the citizens from a tyrannical government. The Second Amendment has this as its primary purpose, and was written in order to prevent the kind of usurpations the nation experienced experienced under British rule. Since human nature has not changed, this need has also not changed.

We see a lawless POTUS currently in office that writes or ignores laws at his personal whim, and feels unconstrained by our Constitution. This is EXACTLY the sort of abuse of coercive power by the government that our Constitution was designed to protect the people against.

This is not the time to limit or abolish the protections afforded us by the Second Amendment - or any of the others in our Bill of Rights.
Amn Roger Omberg
Amn Roger Omberg
1 mo
Oh that is easy, they are the person in a no gun zone, shooting up the school, & the students, remember too, training on the range with appropriate personnel. It is also possible that the person obtained the weapon illegally. In general it is a person who has broken the law!
PV2 Larry Sellnow
PV2 Larry Sellnow
30 d
Amn Roger Omberg - They do not fear another person with a gun and they also know how to use them
Amn Roger Omberg
Amn Roger Omberg
29 d
PV2 Larry Sellnow - That is NOT what I said. In a gun FREE zone its the person shooting up the school, & other school personnel, get it? Remember the question, who is the crazed criminal, & the good guy? The good guy could be an armed Teacher, or A Police officer! Either way both are trained to return deadly fire.
SSgt Roland Cooper
SSgt Roland Cooper
9 d
as I read the comments is appears that U.S. citizens are a bunch of craven lunatics, and they must have guns to solve ANY problem that comes their way. Again, I ask the question - are we just weak-minded people who cannot control themselves and act like civilized human beings? WHY ARE ALL THE OTHER CIVILIZED PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD not killing 40K+ with loaded firearms? Its a simple question. For those of you who think for even a milisecond that YOU are going to stop our military, please put down your crack pipe. The Donald is no longer in office. Thats a start to at least some sanity. For those who wish to fall back to documents written 100's of year ago and try to incorporate some train of thought that THEY could anticipate what the 2023 would look like, I ask, please dont. I find it hard to believe that the founding fathers would have written laws determining whether or not Facebook or Twitter would impact elections. Again, the British aren't coming (although they do like Disney World}, and you do not need to fend off the Native Americans. And please stop with the La La Land that individual citizens are going fend off the largest military in the world. And why are you guys so afraid of simple back ground checks or red flag laws? What are you hiding?
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CPT Military Police
Edited >1 y ago
Capt Richard I P. No. The second amendment, protects the right of self defense. Having the right of self defense is the right to preserve one's life and to preserve other's lives. The right to self defense also protects the right to free press, free speech, and the freedom of assembly. Not having a armed citizens prevents us from ensuring our other rights remain intact and opens us up to having other rights removed.
PV2 Larry Sellnow
PV2 Larry Sellnow
30 d
SGT Rick Ash - I have put up the BS from the Trump administration and the rest of your so called CONservatives BNS for decades so stuff it up your 4th point of contact regarding Obama
SSG Gregg Mourizen
SSG Gregg Mourizen
22 d
PV2 Larry Sellnow - I have few answers to that question. God knows there are far to many "experts" on this subject.
What I know is, creating more ineffective gun control laws will have little effect. If anything, they have made things worse by creating more "Target Rich" environments. Laws that the police, venders and government truely has little time or interest in development or enforcement will rarely have much effect, and usually do not stop criminals.
I Don't know about "More Guns", but better placement of them maybe. Among the "Gun Free" zones, many churches have started having designated armed security (on or off the books). Armed security, in schools. Armed Teachers. Add tecknilogy like a smart gun, and you not only improve the safety, but increase the deterence of an active shooter.
Many schools have veered far away from promoting/teaching appropriate behavior. Establishing standards of approapriate behavior, counseling.
Mental health, is a huge issue. Needs to be addressed, and very little is really being done.
Community policing. How many people look the other way, when warning signs start to surface? Protecting their "good name", "not wanting to ruin someones future", personal favor, bribery, and so on. So many reasions why current laws and and policies aren't working. Why does society let so many problems, slip through the cracks?
Still with all that said, considering there are more guns circulation through our country, than there are people, per Capita, there are far fewer gun related crimes than most other countries. Many ignore the other weapons related crimes when trying to compare. Remember "mass shootings" are Unicorns, in the real world. Seriously, ignoring drug and gang violence, then falsely elevating their numbers by counting 2 to 4 person crimes as a mass shooting. Completely ignore the number of gun crimes, where the gun was used defensively, suicides and accidental discharges. Carrying a weapon concealed without a permit, coulds as a gun crime, yet it is a victimless one, unless that weapon gets used.

In short, yes there is a problem.
More laws will have little effect considering how histrically ineffective they have been. Common sense gun laws, have already been made. Throwing the "common sense" out , to create more laws, to draw votes, or to make you feel better, wont do much.
Work on the laws and programs that already exist. Get them to work, enforce them, stop protecting the problems children.
Remember, "The right of the "people" shall not be infringed. This is to protect the people from a tyranical government, prepares the country against invaders, protects the people against warlords, gangs "anti-government zones, open rebellion, and of course keeps our existing governement in check
SSgt Roland Cooper
SSgt Roland Cooper
9 d
Just a different perspective. I am an avid news reader. VERY RARELY do you ever read a story where some 2nd amendment guy comes riding in from the sunset to save a life. Here is a hint... 99.9999% of the time the shooter has the jump on you. You do not have the ability to do anything. For an interesting read, go online and read the full story when Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was campaigning in front of Arizona grocery store a few years ago. A 2nd amendment guy started shooting up her area and the area around her. The Congresswoman was shot. A news reporter asked a few of the guys with side arms (you can't swing a dead cat in Arizona without hitting a dude with a gun} why didn't they do anything? They said they weren't sure who the bad guys was and they were concerned they might shoot the wrong person. That's a real comforting thought.
Sgt Mervyn Russell
Sgt Mervyn Russell
3 d
What about the morale decay of this World? What about thou shall not kill? I've taught my children Morals, not gun safety. After Vietnam, I didn't own a gun, for forty years. now I have a gun safe full of them. Mostly antiques. It's going to take a spiritual awakening to cure our World. This can be achieve, one heart at a time.
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