Botnst - 6/26/2005 1:23 PM
ThrillKill - 6/26/2005 2:28 PM
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.
The usual gun-nut argument deletes the first half of that article, or claims it moot altogether. Billy-Bob riding in the back of an F-250 looking for evil-doers does not a well regulated militia make. Nor is the freedom of the state at jeopardy.
The constitution was written at a time of innocence and ignorance, and certainly without a clue as to societies potential evolution.
I have not kept-up with the 2nd Amendment argument, but I think that you'll find most academic law profs believe it is an individual right.
First, it is found in the Bill of Rights, a document written to expressly guarntee certain rights of individuals. It would be strange that one right would be given to a class (militias) and not to individuals.
Second, I believe it is accurate to say that the part about militias is guaranteeing the people the right to form militias, if well-regulated (mobs need not apply).
In any case, I know that the internet is full to the choking point of point/counterpoint ad nauseum about this. I'm sure we could all dredge-up our favorite list of experts to prove our various points.
For me, the important issue is one of personal liberty and empowerment.