"But you are wrong. The introductory wording is most certainly a clause, not a phrase. It contains a subject ("militia") and a predicate ("being necessary") " -- Mr. K--
Sorry, but Radio Guy is correct and you are wrong. It is not a clause nor is "being necessary" a predicate. Rather, "being necessary" is a participial phrase.
Great job Radio guy! You nailed it.
Let me elaborate on one point in my thesis. The Bill of Rights was largely inspired by real grievances with the autocratic laws of the British monarchy. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press were not abstract expressions of idealism, but reactions to the very real muzzling of speech and press in England and her colonies.
The Third Amendment, against quartering soldiers in private homes, provides an excellent illustration. According to Wikipedia, the amendment is so innocuous it has "never been the primary basis of a Supreme Court decision." Yet, it must have been a terrible grievance at the time to make it all the way into the Bill of Rights.
Now, for the Second Amendment. Again according to Wikipedia, "The concept of a right to keep and bear arms existed within English common law long before the enactment of the Bill of Rights. Eighteenth century English jurist and judge Sir William Blackstone described this right as 'a public allowance under due restrictions, of the natural right of resistance and self-preservation, when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression.' "
Simply put, even the autocratic monarchy of King George recognized the right of the individual to bear arms for self defense. It is not so far-fetched to conclude that our Founding Fathers did not believe this right needed elaboration and protection from possible despotism. But they certainly had a grievance against Britain for trying to control and even ban independent state militias in the run up to independence, creating in their minds a need to extend that right explicitly to those institutions.
Radio guy, I am not interested in happyfew's reading of the amendment. He does indeed interpret the introductory clause as a limit, whereas my intention was to affirm that it was an expansion, not a limit.
But you are wrong. The introductory wording is most certainly a clause, not a phrase. It contains a subject ("militia") and a predicate ("being necessary") as well as not one, but two--count 'em!--two prepositional phrases.
By the way, the comma after the word "militia" in the amendment would not be considered correct in modern usage, just as the words "Militia" and "State" are not capitalized anymore.
Well written, Nic. Sincere, heartfelt, personal. A fitting tribute.
The reviewers comment, 'Ben Whishaw gets Paddington's voice just right, and the movie wouldn't have worked without the absolutely correct actor bringing him to life' is very interesting. Colin Firth was originally penned for the part, and even recorded several sections before it was determined, by mutal consent apparently, that the 'fit' just wasn't right. Glad Mr. Whishaw strikes the right cord, then!
"The 'justification' (first 13 words) in the Second Amendment do not create, modify, or limit the right of the people to keep and bear arms..."
I agree, but it definitely clarifies that right by extending it specifically to state militias.
" According to your Number 2 principle, two clauses do not ever refer to each other just because they happen to find themselves in the same sentence."
Well... if you think there are two clauses, that is one of your mistakes. There is only one. The first 13 words are not a clause, they are a phrase. The last 14 words are a clause.
To play the word substitution game, try this:
"A well tuned engine being necessary to the operation of an efficient vehicle, the right of the people to keep and use tools shall not be infringed".
According to happyfew's reading, this sentence either requires the tools to be well tuned or the keeping and using of tools must be well tuned. Clearly, happyfew's reading violates the basic rules regarding the placement of modifiers.
So, toss happyfew's misguided reading out with the trash.
Applying some of the other approaches that we see gun controllers use when reading the Second Amendment, the sentence above would be asserting that only engines or vehicles have a right to tools, that the sentence says that only tools that can be used to tune an engine are protected, or that it establishes a vehicle's right to a well tuned engine.
As with the Second, the first 13 words of this sentence do not create, modify, or limit the subject of the clause.
Instead, what the beginning of the sentence does is to show one, but not the only, reason that the people's right to keep and use tools is to be protected.
I don't much agree with Ms. Collins most of the time either but she was elected fairly and has not committed any crime. It is disruptive to the election process to initiate a recall just because you do not agree with the opinions of the individual who was elected. Better to wait for the next go round and try to elect someone you agree with.
Radio guy, I found your "grammatical" exegesis amusing. According to your Number 2 principle, two clauses do not ever refer to each other just because they happen to find themselves in the same sentence. The amendment might just as well have read, "King George, having stinky breath, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." Do you really believe the authors, who were so meticulous in all their other language, just dropped a non sequitur into this amendment for no reason at all?--certainly not to "modify" the sense in any way!
"It is very likely that our Founding Fathers did not think they needed to protect individuals from this kind of federal intrusion, because they could not believe the federal government would ever take away the right to self defense."
Actually, that is something they definitely feared.
"On the other hand, our Founders might have serious concerns about the federal government deciding to regulate state militias, even to abolish them, in order to promote and maintain a despotic regime. "
Covered in the body of the Constitution.
The "justification" (first 13 words) in the Second Amendment do not create, modify, or limit the right of the people to keep and bear arms, as happyfew seems to believe, but rather, this non-restrictive phrase gives one (but not the only) important reason that the pre-existing right is not to be infringed.
I would gladly explain the grammar of the entire sentence to you, happyfew, but it is a pretty sure thing that your head will explode.
Here are the grammatical basics though: 1) The term "well regulated" only applies to the word "militia" and not to anything else in the sentence. 2) The first 13 words do not create, modify, limit, or restrict words 14 thru 23 (the subject of the sentence and its modifiers) in any way.
It is gratifying, Odin, to see I am not the only one who can be arrogant and condescending. (I'm kidding!) Nevertheless, I do not think a strictly grammatical analysis of the amendment will suffice. It is the kind of legalistic approach that leads to endless quibbling and hair-splitting. I have a different approach that I believe to be plausible, although, as in all things, your mileage may vary.
The Second Amendment has the distinction of being the only amendment in the Bill of Rights that carries a justification. The First Amendment, for example, does not say, "A well informed citizenry, being necessary to the security of a free State,..." in order to justify freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
On the other hand, freedom of speech is not absolute. As the famous saying goes, it does not give you the right to yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater. If the Second Amendment did not have this opening statement, one could argue in a similar manner, that it was meant to allow individuals to protect themselves and their families, but not to form state militias. It is very likely that our Founding Fathers did not think they needed to protect individuals from this kind of federal intrusion, because they could not believe the federal government would ever take away the right to self defense.
On the other hand, our Founders might have serious concerns about the federal government deciding to regulate state militias, even to abolish them, in order to promote and maintain a despotic regime. The Revolutionary War was not fought by a federal army, but by a confederation of state militias led by their own state leaders. The greatest threat to the federal government was the existence of these state militias, which is borne out by history, as the War Between the States was started by a rebellious state's militia.
Therefore, the amendment ought to construed as saying the right to bear arms shall not be infringed, even when those arms are going to uppity state militias, like for example, the Texas Rangers (because Governor Perry once threatened to secede from the Union).
There is one proviso to this line of reasoning, but not an onerous one. If a state's militia is not "well regulated," that is, if it is marauding and terrorizing the state's citizens or making raids into neighboring states, the federal government does have a right to disarm them.
"this is one sentence"
Probably the only thing you got correct.
If I write "A blue car ran the stop sign", what item is blue -- the car or the stop sign?
If I write "The well adjusted engine purred like a kitten", what item is well adjusted -- the engine or the kitten?
"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."
this is one sentence... gun nuts want to separate the militia and the right to bear arms part. every right comes with conditions. 95% of nra want reasonable regulations on firearms... you 5% are just very loud... and obnoxious!
"A red car being more visible to police, the car shoppers bought a grey car."
If we read this the same way happyfew is reading the "well regulated" part of the Second Amendment, the sentence above is telling us that the car shoppers are red.
Epic failure on the part of happyfew.
And despite happyfew's assertions otherwise, people are not in any rush to leave the NRA and over 85% of the NRA's funding comes from member dues and member donations, not from corporate gifts. In fact, the biggest gripe many in the NRA have with the organization is that in their opinion the NRA has been too willing to compromise. This has led to the formation of groups like the GOA, NAGR, JFPO, SAF, RKBA, and others. The SAF has been particularly effective and is the group responsible for the Heller and McDonald decisions.
"The NAACP conveniently ignores things where they can't play the race card." Duh... an organization dedicated to the "Advancement of Colored People" only weighs in on issues involving race! The mission of the NAACP is to throw light on incidents that the participants would rather sweep under the rug, and to encourage a full and public investigation.
In our society, we abhor murder. So, any and all accusations of murder are taken seriously and thoroughly investigated. But, the main point is that we take every new accusation just as seriously, even though many previous accusations proved to be false. Moreover, we continue to encourage citizens to come forth when they suspect a murder might have been committed.
If we take racism--which has often led to murder in the past--seriously, then the NAACP is performing a valuable service for all of us. When you complain that they only "play the race card," you only demonstrate that you do not take the problem of racism in our society seriously.
"the second amendment includes the phrase "well regulated"" -- happyfew
Yes, and if you understood even the most fundamental rules of grammar, you would know that those words describe the militias, not the right of the people to keep and bear arms.
IOW, your ignorance is amazing.
"Blacks are more likely to be involved in crimes... has nothing to do with race as a physical characteristic, but rather it is more of a culture issue." Yes, it is a cultural issue. That issue is racism, and it is an issue that involves all Americans, including White, Black, and mixed.
"By far the greatest danger to Blacks are other Blacks, who kill each other 17 times as frequently as cops kill Blacks." What you are saying is criminals kill more people than cops do. Is that unusual? I am sure you do not mean to imply that the police kill more Whites than White criminals do, and I wonder what the equivalent number is for White people.
What does this statistic say about the effectiveness of all the so-called "over-policing" that Blacks have been subject to all these years?
A very immature, if not incomprehensible and bigoted article which left no idiot stone unturned. Many people believe what they read in the media but apparently did not read any history books in high school.
I am chagrined that a dog was shot as I am a lover of dogs, but here we have "anonymous" letting the dog off leash. Yes "anonymous" is not named because they broke a law. "A country overflowing with dog-shooting vigilantes isn't a safe place", you state to which I must ask "WTF are you thinking?". Plus I am sick of hearing about "gun lovers" being backward illiterate rednecks. This becomes a "fact" to millions. You paint gun owners as inbred perverts.
This is a bullshit article blaming everyone with a gun and not the careless dog owner or oddball shooter. Americans have Rights guaranteed by The Constitution that were granted by their creator.
Those Rights are simply not up for debate or a vote. Police are under no obligation to protect anyone. Name the last time you heard of a cop killing a perpetrator to save one citizen...
Do not tell me what goes on in my mind and do not talk about reasonable or sensible gun control. After reading what you wrote you are neither of those things. I can explain The Second Amendment to you, John but I cannot understand it for you. Your reference to "cowboy" shows arrogance based in ignorance. Anyone that carries can rely on the knowledge that it will help keep them calm and clear headed to be able to exit a bad situation safely and will not draw it. THAT is what it is about, John. You can pull your handgun on a bad ass if you like but you will likely get it shoved up your ass. You can call a cop when your life is about to be snuffed by another person and you will die waiting. Or you can retract your insults and tell the truth then just maybe an armed citizen may save you someday. It won't be today that is for certain. Do not call yourself a journalist, a reporter or a writer as you are none of those. You are a hack and way overpaid. Maybe you should go to "cowboyland" and write some of them there dime novels, you savvy Pard?
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