Re-framing the Second Amendment Debate......
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Thread: Re-framing the Second Amendment Debate......

  1. Re-framing the Second Amendment Debate......

    If firearm owners and the organizations that represent them hope to win the debate regarding the Second Amendment right to bear arms, then the entire debate must be re-framed.

    For far too long, this debate has been framed by those who oppose a constructionist view of the Second Amendment solely in LEGAL terms. Therein lies the problem. As any debater can tell you, the first axiom of debate is that the side that FRAMES the debate ultimately WINS the debate.

    As was true of the fight to secure the right of minorities to vote, among other social issues, we will only truly make ground when we come to realize that the Second Amendment expresses a CIVIL right. The Bill of Rights is entirely about civil rights, those rights that were recognized by the States as having been bestowed upon humans by God Himself. The Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution because, as originally written, the Constitution, masterpiece that it is, failed to provide protections for these most basic rights. It was for this reason, to insure that the Constitution did not create yet another all-powerful centralized government that had no regard for the inherent rights of its citizens, that the Bill of Rights was created in the first place. Before the right to bear arms is a LEGAL right, it is first a CIVIL right.

    This recognition will change the complexion of the debate that surrounds current treatments of the Second Amendment. The sooner firearm owners and the organizations that represent them come to terms with this realization, the sooner we will begin to re-frame this debate in terms of a basic civil right, and the sooner we will be able to establish a firmer legal foundation for our right to self-defense and the accompanying right to bear arms as expressed in the Second Amendment.

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  3. #2
    I believe gun owners, and advocates of gun ownership, have been characterizing the right to keep and bear arms just as you say through the years. The constitution qualifies this right as both God-given and inalienable. The framers even went so far as to use such strong legal language as "shall not be infringed." Re-framing the debate to qualify gun ownership rights as civil rights seems, to me, to dumb the debate down to the level of all the other things the ACLU and similarly lost organizations tout as being "civil rights" (some of which are, and most of which have to do with racial and religious hypersensitivity). I'm afraid I must have missed your point, because I don't see how the debate was incorrectly framed in the first place, or how it could possibly benefit from being lumped in with the "right" an illegal immigrant has to receive free benefits from our country, and dozens of similarly assinine concepts. Doesn't make sense, sorry. Did I miss your point entirely?

  4. #3
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    What part of "shall not be infringed" do these college educated idiots not understand.
    "You can get a lot accomplished if you don't care who gets the credit" - Ronald Reagan

  5. Yes, you have missed the point. To illustrate, let me quote from the Danbury Baptists' letter to Jefferson:

    "Our ancient charter [the Constitution - added] together with the law made coincident therewith, were adopted as the basis of our government, at the time of our revolution; and such had been our laws and usages, and such still are; that religion is considered as the first object of legislation; and therefore what religious privileges we enjoy (as a minor part of the state) we enjoy as favors granted, and not as inalienable rights; and these favors we receive at the expense of such degrading acknowledgements as are inconsistent with the rights of freemen."

    The problem they were addressing was that the freedom of religion, which we recognize under the Bill of Rights as an inalienable right, a basic civil right, was instead being treated by the government as privilege bestowed by a benevolent Congress through legislation, but just as easily taken away. In their words, "...as favors granted..." In the terms I use, the Second Amendment right to self-defense/bear arms has been treated exactly the same way by the government - as the mere result of legislation, rather than as an inalienable right. And to further use the wording from the Danbury Baptists, "..these favors we receive at the expense of such degrading acknowledgements as are inconsistent with the rights of freemen." As long as we argue that this is merely our LEGAL right, the government will continue to treat that right in the same fashion as they treated the freedom of religion.

    The Danbury Baptists recognized that as long as the freedom of religion was merely a LEGAL right, its true status would always be questionable, subject to the whims of a given administration - they had to reframe the debate in terms of CIVIL rights in order to put it on firm LEGAL footing. That is the same argument that I am making. As long as the right to bear arms is looked upon only as a LEGAL right, it will always be subject to the whims of politicians and special interest groups who desire to limit that right. However, if we re-frame the debate in terms demonstrating that the right to bear arms/self defense is in fact a CIVIL right, an inalienable right, then any laws that follow must be written with an eye toward protecting that inalienable civil right.

  6. #5
    I'm sorry, but I'm afraid that the term "civil right" has been so misused in recent decades that any attempt to "reframe" the debate in those terms will fail utterly. I understand your point, but you must accept that languages evolve, whether we wish them to or not. The terms we use today no longer always mean what they did two hundred years ago. I'm not defending the change, just pointing it out. If you're going to reframe the debate, you'd better come up with something a little less overused and overabused than civil rights.

  7. #6
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    Reframe the 2nd Amendment? You are one of those missing the point! The 2nd was written for a purpose and it should stay that way. If you choose to interpret it to your, we can't do anything about the way you think. Just don't drag us with your way. Even though the 2nd was written years and years ago, it was written in English. You speak, read, write English, read it again for emphasis...and try to understand.
    "Don't let the door hit ya where the dawg shudda bit ya!"
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  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker's Mom View Post
    Reframe the 2nd Amendment? You are one of those missing the point! The 2nd was written for a purpose and it should stay that way. If you choose to interpret it to your, we can't do anything about the way you think. Just don't drag us with your way. Even though the 2nd was written years and years ago, it was written in English. You speak, read, write English, read it again for emphasis...and try to understand.
    As all law, the second is open to interpretation. Any law is defined as what the high court interprets it to mean. We may feel the second provides a right that may not be interfered with but the high court doesn't see it that way. And it never will. The court will always interpret the second to allow reasonable restrictions. Such restrictions include prohibiting firearm use by violent criminals or the the insane. The court always recognized the rights of a property owner shall supercede our constitutional rights in that no one must allow an armed person on their premises.

    The same holds true for the first amendment. You have freedom of speech but can't say anything you want without some repurcussion. You can't yell "fire" in a crowded theater, you can't get on your soapbox and rant at the mall, you can't threaten others and you can't speak out of turn at a public meeting or in court. In these instances you can be charged with a crime. There is much debate over the supression of the first amendment.

    I doubt America will ever see a second amendment that is not infringed in some way.
    GOD, GUNS and GUITARS

  9. #8
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    You can't write a law to cover every aspect. Some that read it will look for loop holes to find what it doesn't say so they can work around it. Interpretations are going to change as generations come and go. Bottom line in my opinion, is personal responsibility goes a long way. What knothead doesn't know you don't yell fire in a growded room, just for fun. Look to our education system, main stream media, government, for some answers. Personal responsibility and common sense isn't taught, not even at home. What is taught is that it's someone else's fault your messed up and do stupid things. Now we must legislate stupidity.
    "You can get a lot accomplished if you don't care who gets the credit" - Ronald Reagan

  10. #9
    The biggest problem with framing 2A for debate no matter how you want to frame it is that it is almost impossible to find any two people that will agree on what 2A actually means and how it should be enforced or unenforced. Until 2A supporters can start speaking with a few voices instead of the constant infighting very little progress is going to be made. Just as with HR 822 the NRA is trying to push it through Congress but there are many other Pro-Gun groups rallying against it. So far the NRA is winning but it is going to be a lot tougher in the Senate and those lobbying against it are going to have more influence than in the past. Just think, if all the pro-gun groups spoke with the same voice there would be no question about the future of the bill. Right now there are all kinds of lies and innuendos being put out by both sides hoping to discredit the other side and gain support for themselves and we the public gun owners are the losers no matter what the outcome.

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by fuhr52:245181
    What part of "shall not be infringed" do these college educated idiots not understand.
    Wow..quite the generalization there, my apparently uneducated friend!

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