The 2nd Amendment is not a weapon

  • Article by: CASS R. SUNSTEIN , Bloomberg View
  • Updated: December 18, 2012 - 9:11 PM

An individual's right to own guns has only been discovered in recent years.

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BallFourDec. 18, 12 9:36 PM

One reason the lads wanted "citizens" to bear arms was that for the arms of the day to better serve you it was best to shoot at the bad guys in a volley. These muzzle loaders were not inaccurate, but when you have about a one in three chance of hitting your target, which was the case, it's better to have a bunch of men with guns line up and fire simultaneously. And, of course, no one in that era envisioned the weapons we have today any more than someone envisions the Scarmauf 3377, which will be manufactured in 2230.

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zippo12Dec. 18, 1210:35 PM

Although I am not a gun rights advocate, I think Professor Sunstein's focus on the Second Amendment is an inaccurate way to set up the issue. We don't have 300 million guns in the US because of a "fraudulent" interpretation of the Second Amendment. People own guns because they want to own guns---it is just that simple. Since so many people want to own guns, guns will be available for them to own, period. And while we hate to aid mass murderers by making very effective killing tools available to them, I would submit that almost any gun of sufficient caliber would have done the trick if you are a person intent on shooting unarmed grade school children and teachers who are trapped in a classroom, etc. We are rightly horrified at these killings, but don't kid yourself that any of our token remedial efforts at gun control will change a thing. Real gun control will never happen, so these types of killings will continue for as long as people and guns exist. And yes, gun rights people are right that killing predates the invention of guns, but if we could theoretically get rid of all guns, I am sure it would greatly decrease all types of killings---I am just saying it is never going to happen.

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bebebigaloDec. 18, 1210:41 PM

The more talk about GUN CONTROL the more people will by guns.

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valkyrie11Dec. 18, 1210:43 PM

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government" -- Thomas Jefferson, 1 Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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buffalobullDec. 18, 1211:02 PM

"Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom? Congress shall have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American ... The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the People." — Tench Coxe, 1788. There goes your FEDERALISM argument.

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usmc1127Dec. 18, 1211:24 PM

"We should be able to have a serious national discussion uninhibited by wild claims about the meaning of the Constitution." -- We should be able to have a serious national discussion uninhibited by wild claims about the results of citizens with legal guns. National murder rates have dropped since the "Assault Weapon Ban" expired. Minnesota murder rates have dropped while permit to carry numbers have risen. Both of those facts completely contradict what we were told would happen.

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deadrevDec. 18, 1211:27 PM

@valkyrie44, if we're so worried about tyranny in government, why do we let them spend our tax dollars on the most advanced (and expensive) military force on the planet? We're literally paying to be outmatched and overwhelmed. While I agree with Jefferson's sentiment, it's severely outdated. A citizens' revolt is a pipe dream; the nebulous idea is more cute than realistic.

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buffalobullDec. 18, 1211:44 PM

"The great object is, that every man be armed ... Every one who is able may have a gun." -- Patrick Henry, Elliot, p.3:386

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buffalobullDec. 18, 1211:49 PM

Notice that in the entire article, there was never any info from that time period or ANYONE who was a part of the constitution. Because it does't exist, its not there. While there are numerous that affirm the right of the individual to keep arms. "I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials." — George Mason

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pumiceDec. 18, 1211:53 PM

From the article: "[Weapons like those used in the mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School] get a lot of coverage when there's a tragedy, but the number of people unlawfully killed with them is small." (Stephen Halbrook, a lawyer who has represented the National Rifle Association) "Disturbing statement" is putting it mildly.

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