Saturday, March 05, 2016

What Did “Bear Arms” Mean in the Second Amendment?

One of the many ways gun control advocates try to change the meaning to the Second Amendment is by twisting the definition of words and phrases. A common target is the phrase “bear arms,” which they claim is a military term only.
In “What Did “Bear Arms” Mean in the Second Amendment?” Clayton E. Cramer and Joseph Edward Olson provide solid historical context proving that the phrase was used repeatedly when referring to non-military individuals possessing weapons.
“Those who argue that the original meaning of the Second Amendment was only to protect a collective right, either of the states to maintain militias, or perhaps of citizens to jointly form militias, assert that “bear arms” refers exclusively or at least overwhelmingly, to the collective, military carrying of weapons,” they write. “If ‘bear arms’ referred only to the military carrying or use of arms, then the right protected by the Second Amendment would not be an individual right to possess or carry arms for personal self-defense. The right would be for a government organized militia, or at best, to exercise what the Tennessee Supreme Court acknowledged was a right to revolution.”
While pointing out that historical documents written at the time of the Second Amendment referenced by many scholars generally used the phrase “bear arms” to refer to military uses, Cramer and Olson say that this is due to a bias selection problem.

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Anonymous said...

As the supreme court has recently ruled, if it is not written it does not exist. all the gun grabbers have to do you prove there are more than 26 words in the second amendment. it says the right of the citizen not the right of the militia or select groups or just the government. the fact of the matter is the government as written in the constitution can not have a standing army for more than two years unless the congress approves it. so the original meaning of the framers has o be for the citizens to bear arms at will.

Anonymous said...

It still does mean the right of the PEOPLE shall not be infringed. the tenth amendment guarantees that the states have no authority to change what the federal constitution guarantees. Note the difference in spelling of the two words PEOPLE and GOVERNMENT. the word government is not in the second amendment. Nothing in the second amendment says as long as the states approve. Nothing in the constitution says the states can deny any citizen the right to exercise the rights that are guaranteed in the federal constitution anywhere in the country that citizen happens to be. In fact the reverse is true. Our rights travel with us where ever we are inside the borders of this country. crossing a state line or a country line or a city limit is not or does not require any citizen to relinquish their rights to cross that line.