Do you have adblock enabled?
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.
Duplicate of another approved link: 7549985

(KHOU Houston) NewsFlash Guns Are Keeping Us Safe 2013 tour makes a visit to Lone Star College   ( divider line
    More: NewsFlash, Lone Star College, Ben Taub General Hospital, Texas Medical Center, Intercontinental Airport, precincts  
•       •       •

2502 clicks;  Favorite

Voting Results (Funniest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2013-01-22 03:29:28 PM  
2 votes:


In the coming months, as the nation begins a serious discussion about gun regulation, the meaning of the Second Amendment - the statement that "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" - will be much discussed.

It is vital that Americans separate myths from realities, because what many of us seem to have forgotten is that, in the vision of the founders of the United States of America, the right to bear arms carries with it enormous burdens and responsibilities.

In fact, if we restored the Second Amendment to its original meaning, it would be the NRA's worst nightmare. Invoking the Second Amendment ought to be a more effective argument for increased regulation than it is against it.

In 2008, a closely divided Supreme Court abandoned more than 70 years of precedent and for the first time in American history affirmed that the Second Amendment is about a right to have a handgun in the home for self-defense. Lost in most of the commentary then and now is that this is almost the exactly opposite of what James Madison, the primary architect of the amendment, intended, and is hard to reconcile with the way most ordinary Americans would have read it in 1791.

In 1776, most of the original state constitutions did not even include an arms-bearing provision. The few states that did usually also included a clause protecting the right not to bear arms. Why? Because, in contrast to other cherished rights such as freedom of speech or religion, the state could not compel you to speak or pray. It could force you to bear arms.

The founders had a simple reason for curbing this right: Quakers and other religious pacifists were opposed to bearing arms, and wished to be exempt from an obligation that could be made incumbent on all male citizens at the time.

When the Second Amendment is discussed today, we tend to think of those "militias" as just a bunch of ordinary guys with guns, empowering themselves to resist authority when and if necessary. Nothing could be further from the founders' vision.

Militias were tightly controlled organizations legally defined and regulated by the individual colonies before the Revolution and, after independence, by the individual states. Militia laws ran on for pages and were some of the lengthiest pieces of legislation in the statute books. States kept track of who had guns, had the right to inspect them in private homes and could fine citizens for failing to report to a muster.

These laws also defined what type of guns you had to buy - a form of taxation levied on individual households. Yes, long before Obamacare, the state made you buy something, even if you did not want to purchase it. (The guns required by law were muskets, not pistols. The only exceptions to this general rule were the horsemen's pistols that dragoons and other mounted units needed.)

The founders had a word for a bunch of farmers marching with guns without government sanction: a mob. One of the reasons we have a Constitution is the founders were worried about the danger posed by individuals acting like a militia without legal authority. This was precisely what happened during Shays' Rebellion, an insurrection in western Massachusetts that persuaded many Americans that we needed a stronger central government to avert anarchy.

Many people think that we have the Second Amendment so that we can take up arms against the government if it overreaches its authority. If that interpretation were correct, it would mean that the Second Amendment had repealed the Constitution's treason clause, which defines this crime as taking up arms against the government. In reality, in the first decade after the Constitution, the government put down several rebellions similar to Shays - and nobody claimed that they were merely asserting their Second Amendment rights.

So if the Second Amendment does not have much to do about owning a pistol for self-defense, does that mean the founders did not esteem this right? Obviously the answer to that question is no. Not every right valued by Americans was expressly protected by a constitutional provision. The right of self-defense was part of the common law, a long tradition of rights defined by the English courts over a period of centuries.

But rather than invoke the Second Amendment in the coming months, Americans need to learn something about the historical origins of this part of our constitutional tradition. The bottom line is simple: the Second Amendment requires more gun regulation, not less.

Cornell is the Paul and Diane Guenther Chair in American History at Fordham University.

2013-01-22 02:09:34 PM  
2 votes:

Fark It: what kind of weapon

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess it was a gun. Unless you think they were shot with a baseball bat or a knife.
2013-01-22 02:08:34 PM  
2 votes:

Weaver95: obviously, this is entirely the fault of Texas and their Orwellian restrictions on legal gun owners!

Indeed, if only more people in Texas had firearms, this never would have happened.
2013-01-22 02:05:23 PM  
2 votes:

netizencain: If only we could set up some sort of Gun-Free area or zone where criminals would not be allowed to bring their weapons

Agreed. Maybe we should make some laws against randomly shooting people as well.
2013-01-22 03:42:18 PM  
1 vote:

CPav: The Linked Article quotes a witness as saying that two guys were arguing and one "pulled a gun". I don't know a whole lot about guns, but wouldn't this rule out an AK-47 or pretty much any assault rifle?

2013-01-22 03:37:31 PM  
1 vote:

Burr: GameSprocket: netizencain: If only we could set up some sort of Gun-Free area or zone where criminals would not be allowed to bring their weapons

Since we obviously can't trust people to follow the laws about where they can carry their weapons, I guess we need to take away the weapons entirely.

[ image 199x248]
"Go on..."

You keep Jon Lovitz out of this!
2013-01-22 03:29:37 PM  
1 vote:

Andulamb: GodLovesBeer: A: Handgungs
B: Black or Hispanic
C:Most defiantly voted for Obama
D: All of the above

Any takers?

My money's on handgungs.

We need more open handgung style...
2013-01-22 03:27:50 PM  
1 vote:


/had to post before the pulled the REPEAT THREAD
2013-01-22 03:27:38 PM  
1 vote:

GodLovesBeer: A: Handgungs
B: Black or Hispanic
C:Most defiantly voted for Obama
D: All of the above

Any takers?

My money's on handgungs.
2013-01-22 03:25:07 PM  
1 vote:

GodLovesBeer: A: Handgungs
B: Black or Hispanic
C:Most defiantly voted for Obama
D: All of the above

Any takers?

I'll take "Things an idiot would say" for 500, Alex.
2013-01-22 03:21:33 PM  
1 vote:
They are not REAL students. Its a community college.
2013-01-22 02:34:44 PM  
1 vote:

Kit Fister: markie_farkie: choo: Teacher or bystander on the phone says two guys fighting, both pull guns and start shooting at each other with one teacher hit.

Well then it's a fair fight, the NRA can come to the shooters' defense, and tell the teacher to go pound sand because they were too stupid to pack their own heat, and be ready at any moment for gunfire to break out in a library..

Only in texas.

I'd certainly feel safer if only they let me purchase my own rocket launcher - I have a wife and kids to support - thugs see my rcoket launcher and it will deter them. Side benefit is the added upper-body workout from packing that thing around.
2013-01-22 02:24:40 PM  
1 vote:

Callous: Tons of police on scene but they appear to be moving about pretty casually.

it's texas.  instead of a swat team, they sent the saunter team.
2013-01-22 02:23:10 PM  
1 vote:

vygramul: Modernity is not, in and of itself, a sufficient argument.  The Internet is a more powerful communications tool than the Founders could possibly have conceived of.  Yet no sane person would suggest that's sufficient reason to censor it.

It's a lot easier to ignore a crazy on the Intartubes than it is to ignore a crazy storming through a mall, or theater, or church, or school, indiscriminately firing rounds through windows, walls, people, and so on..
2013-01-22 02:13:48 PM  
1 vote:
the 24 hour news chatter on this is silly.

***breaking news*** students seen leaving the library

2013-01-22 02:12:42 PM  
1 vote:
The man was wearing a Falcons cap.

Well, that explains it.
2013-01-22 02:11:51 PM  
1 vote:

NowhereMon: Reports are coming in that the shooter used an AK47 with a high capacity clip.

Stupid liberal! It's a MAGAZINE not a CLIP!
2013-01-22 02:09:30 PM  
1 vote:
if ONLY Texas would relax their regulations on gun ownership then maybe someone could have stopped this madness!  Because when I think of 'draconian restrictions on guns', I immediately think of Texas, right guys?
2013-01-22 02:05:29 PM  
1 vote:

Elzar: *checks watch*

Nope, still not the time to talk...

Well, we don't know who did the shooting and why, or with what kind of weapon. It's too early to even blame gun owners and the NRA, let alone have a discussion.
2013-01-22 02:03:59 PM  
1 vote:
If only we could set up some sort of Gun-Free area or zone where criminals would not be allowed to bring their weapons
2013-01-22 01:59:53 PM  
1 vote:
This has to be a lie.  There are laws about bringing guns onto school grounds.  And we all know that gun control laws work.
2013-01-22 01:57:08 PM  
1 vote:
*checks watch*

Nope, still not the time to talk...
Displayed 22 of 22 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking

On Twitter

Top Commented
Javascript is required to view headlines in widget.
  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.