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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  354 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The five extra words that can fix the Second Amendment - The Washington Post

The Constitution has the following to say about the militia:

    Section. 8.

    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;


    To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

    To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

That pretty clearly suggests that "militia" is whatever the government argues that it is. It's a thing they organize, arm and discipline it so they can call it forth to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions.

The end effect is kicking a big fuckin' hole in the 2nd amendmen.

BurnTheBarricade  ·  353 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Well, there it is. I had a strong suspicion about that interpretation, but it's informative to know that.

I can't support this kind of change to the 2nd. Under that definition, the states get sweeping authority to decide who is allowed to own a weapon, which probably only extends to the police and National Guard units. Klein, I just read your comment about updating the style of the militia groups in order to justify this kind of change and I really like those ideas but I have little faith that most state governments have the foresight to see it this way. Instead, I think a step in the other direction would be probable - outcry from the general populace, followed by a few high-profile crackdowns that drive the unrecognized militia groups further into the shadows along with a bunch more people who, unwilling to give up their firearms, will be more inclined to align with these newly-outlawed groups. The end result would be a huge increase in distrust of government combined with further isolation and possible radicalization of many otherwise law-abiding citizens who now have to make a perceived choice between legality and their constitutional right. These five words don't just kick a hole in the 2nd amendment, they raze it to the ground and shatter a significant facet of national culture in the process. Hyperbole? Possibly. But a great many people will see it this way. Those sorts of instantaneous changes are typically met with open hostility.

The militia membership idea is a super cool one. Regardless of whether or not any changes are made by the ATF, legislature, or Supreme Court, we ought to encourage active physical participation in local community organizations such as what these would be. I'm not so sure about the governmental oversight you propose, although for the extra goodies like reliable org charts and reserved frequencies it would likely be necessary. Some limited method like a county coordinator, or checkups from the Guard or something may work. Isolation appears to be a common factor in a great many of these shooters' backgrounds, and an atmosphere of isolation is getting continually easier to maintain. On the other hand, gang violence (which is a much more frequent source of gun-related deaths) seems to occur mostly in groups, so there's that counterpoint. It does seem that we are less enthusiastic about civil service that the romanticized past, and gun club militias may be one way out of that slump. You just need to make sure they don't swing either towards paramilitary political groups, or jumped-up gangs.

Gem  ·  347 days ago  ·  link  ·  

In Australia, being a participating member of your local rifle club is required to keep your firearms licence. They say it's to keep up to date on health and safety issues, etc. I've always thought it's so your mates will notice if you start to go funny. Maybe that would be a gentle first step?

Isolation = No guns?

BurnTheBarricade  ·  347 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah it would be nice to institute something like that, but there would definitely hangups in the implementation. For example, there exist many organizations where the only thing needed for active membership is a monthly fee. Just like in Australia, there are many remote areas of the US where the nearest neighbor may be 40 miles away. There are always problems with restricting the ability of any citizen to own guns, and a mandate to interact with others would probably not go over well. It'd definitely be worth looking into on a state level, I think. It would probably be best as a community initiative, though.

kleinbl00  ·  353 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I, too, feel that a change to the constitution is not a change we need right now. The issue is solely with NRA policy and the impact they have on legislators. Were Wayne LaPierre to be taken down by a "wide stance" scandal it would probably save thousands of lives over the long run.

I'm probably older than you. I fired my first gun around 30 years ago. Back then, rednecks with lots of guns were crazy-ass deviants. now? Now we acquit the fuckin' Bundys. It used to be that guns were something you shot. Now they might as well be a fuckin' kirpan.

We don't fix that by changing the laws. We fix that by changing the culture and the angry white "values voters" own that conversation.