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Subject:  Re: Magnificent takedown of Piers Date:  1/12/2013  10:10 AM
Author:  xLife Number:  114064 of 164859

You rely on the Shay's rebellion argument like it is the only point in history that actually matters.

No. I refer to Shays' Rebellion as if it were the catalyst and context for the Constitutional Congress.

In early 1787 John Jay wrote that the rural disturbances and the inability of the central government to fund troops in response made "the inefficiency of the Federal government [become] more and more manifest."[62] Henry Knox observed that the uprising in Massachusetts clearly influenced local leaders who had previously opposed a strong federal government. Historian David Szatmary writes that the timing of the rebellion "convinced the elites of sovereign states that the proposed gathering at Philadelphia must take place."[63]'_Rebellion

I like this quote:

"[W]hen the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man, who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually, by totally disusing and neglecting the militia."

It supports my argument that the purpose of the Second Amendment was to ensure the existence of well-regulated militias to defend the state against a standing army led by a tyrant and to put down popular rebellions by malcontents like Shays' Rebellion. Also supporting this argument is the fact that President Washington used state militias to do exactly that when he led them against the Whiskey Rebellion.

Who are the militia, if they be not the people of this country...? I ask, who are the militia? They consist of now of the whole people, except a few public officers."

I've seen this before, but forget who said it. (You don't say.) At the time, 240 years ago, it was more or less true. It isn't anymore.

Indeed, an idiot would say that the second amendment would only apply to the militia...

Perhaps. I'm not saying the Second applies only to militias.

They would ignore the fact that everywhere the term "the people" refers to individual rights but in only one place in the entire thing it would not refer to the individual.

Actually, the phrase "the people" doesn't always refer to individuals. It didn't at the time of the Constitution's writing, and it doesn't now, as in the People's Republic of China. I read something on this recently that was specifically about the use of the phrase in the Constitution, comparing the way "the rights of the people" was used in the Second to it's absence in the other amendments. It argued that "rights of the people" had a collective, not individual, meaning. Can't find it right now, but I'll look it up if you ask nicely.

The second amendment says the "right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Actually, it says: "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."

You can argue about the meaning of the introductory clause, but leaving it out weakens your argument. It's in there for a reason.

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