Talk:Second Amendment to the United States Constitution/Archive 31

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The question is the wording of the English History section.

The question is the wording of the English History section. (The article is locked because of that dispute.) We are supposed to be resolving our dispute about that section on the talk page. May I suggest that we all set aside what we personally know, and instead we put focus on what we see the reliable sourcing says about the English History precedent to the Second Amendment. I tried to summarize each of the POV's seen in reliable sourcing about the English history precedent to the 2A above[1] Editors here may want to add or subtract from that list. Can we please focus on what the sourcing says, and not on what editors say? SaltyBoatr get wet 14:53, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

The article is locked because YOU engaged in an edit war and finding that you were not going to get your way YOU asked for a freeze.

and don't think that I did not notice that when YOU asked for that freeze YOU shifted the blame to myself and Hauskalainen, when neither of us had violated 3rr and YOU did.71.184.184.238 (talk) 15:50, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

It would be helpful it Saltyboatr explained what he means by "right(s)" (plural). TFD (talk) 15:56, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
I mean that when I read reliable sourcing I see that there are different opinions about which combination of rights are being described by the Second Amendment. See here[[2]] where I outlined which books I have reviewed. SaltyBoatr get wet 16:14, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
The text of Second Amendment refers to a singular right. Various sources may have different interpretations of which right that is, but we should be able to handle presenting those different views without synthesizing a plural. Also, how do you connect "gun control theory" with the Second Amendment? The Second Amendment is either moot (collective right) or in conflict with (individual right) the legitimate interest of gun control. Do you see the Second Amendment as preserving a right for the group in power to restrict guns? Celestra (talk) 17:00, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
I am not talking about what I believe. I am saying that when I read books about this topic I see at least four that describe the English history precedent to the 2A as being about keeping guns out of the hands of undesirable people. Look to Cramer on page 25, and DeConde on pages 11-14 (plus other places which I have described before, see above, or ask me and I will restate them). The English tradition of using arms laws to control classes of people is described as precedent to the some of the intent behind the drafting of the Second Amendment. As Cramer puts it "The use of arms control laws for reasons of economic exploitation will reappear when we explore the Black Codes and the Presser v. Illinois decision in later chapters." These "Black Codes" have to do with the issue of slaves bearing arms, and the use of militia slave patrols. This 'slave control' theme (or as Cramer calls it, economic exploitation) of bearing arms is linked to origins of Protestant exploitation of Catholics by both DeConde and by Cramer. I am not saying this is the "major POV" seen, but it is a significant POV seen in the sourcing. And as such, it deserves a small mention in proportion to the large POVs seen. SaltyBoatr get wet 18:02, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Does that mean that you read somewhere that people SHOULD be disarmed so that they could be more easily exploited?71.184.184.238 (talk) 19:24, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Absolutely, there is plenty written that says that. In the English Bill of Rights, Protestants were interested in disarming Catholics, DeConde pgs 11-14, Bodenhamer pg 75 (and several others). Also, at least two authors (Hemmenway[3] and Schwoerer[4]) argue that the clause "suitable to their condition" in the English Bill of rights was intended to restrict arms from lower class protestants, similar to the long standing tradition of the Game Laws restricting availability of firearms and gunpowder to the aristocracy. In the run up to the Revolutionary War, Loyalists sought to empower Native Americans and Slaves to bear arms which was opposed by the Patriots (Hadden pg 160). Robert Cottrol writes of it in his book[5]. Uviller and Merkel, page 178 & 182. And, Clayton Cramer's book, chapter VII describes at length the issue of disputes over the rights of slaves, (and former slaves forming Negro militias which were in conflict with the White militia. (See also, Otis Singletary[6]) to bear arms or not, prior to the Civil War, and after the war[7], see also United States v. Cruikshank. Plus the new McDonald decision discusses this issue of the right of slaves to bear arms (or not). SaltyBoatr get wet 19:50, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
That people have been disarmed and their rights violated throughout the ages (slaves for instance) is fact. My question was whether the Second acts in opposition to that deprivation of the right to arms, lessening the ability to engage in self defense, and allowing the subsequent exploitation of those unable to defend themselves.71.184.184.238 (talk) 11:30, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
The answer to your question would be best if you read it directly from those sources. If you are asking me to summarize what those sources say, forgive me if I mix up a few details, but I will give it a try now: At the time of the drafting of the Second Amendment, the slave states had a well established system of slave control which involved the use of citizen slave patrol militias. (Plenty of excellent sources document this fact.) The major players behind the drafting of the 2A were Anti-federalists who tended to have their areas of support coming from the southern slave states. These anti-federalists were already aware of the abolitionist movement, which tended to come from the northern states which were generally more federalist. Slave owners were concerned that federal control over the militia might be influenced by the abolitionists, eliminating the power of the states to run their 'well regulated' slave patrol militias which were essential for what they viewed as 'security of a free state'. The slave owners had very real reason to fear if the slaves were allowed to form Black Militias. Indeed, a civil war was fought and the slaves were allowed to form Black Militias, and these battled with the White Militias. One of these battles resulted in the Colfax massacre, and the court litigation over that question made its way to the Supreme Court. (The first SCOTUS ruling on the 2A.) And, that ruling held that the states do indeed have the right to regulate their own people (and militia) free from federal control of the 2A. In the subsequent decades the southern states continued to legally use white militia as a means of black control, without federal infringement on the states, just as the 2A was intended by those slave owners from Virginia who drafted the 2A. (Please now go read those sources and tell me whether I have correctly summarized what they say, thanks, I hope I have been helpful.) SaltyBoatr get wet 14:08, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
You are avoiding the question, It is:Does the Second acts in opposition to "a deprivation of the right to arms", the loss of which lessens ones ability to engage in self defense, allowing easier exploitation of those unable to defend themselves.71.184.184.238 (talk) 11:15, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
I am absolutely not avoiding the question. Please carefully re-read what I wrote on 14:08, 10 July 2010 (UTC). Also, please find the time to read the sources I identified that confirm this. DeConde (and several others) explain their viewpoint that yes indeed the Second Amendment created a system of protection of the southern states' citizen militia slave patrol system that was designed with plain intent to disarm blacks depriving their right of self defense free from federal infringement. The SCOTUS affirmed this status quo in the Cruikshank decision of 1875 and White Militia legally deprived Blacks of arms throughout the remainder of that century. SaltyBoatr get wet 15:25, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
The answer is either a yes or a no. Anything else is avoiding the question.71.184.184.238 (talk) 22:44, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
According to the sources I listed, the answer is yes. SaltyBoatr get wet 02:13, 13 July 2010 (UTC)


Saltyboatr, your link enumerates four rights. An obligation to perform military and gun control are not rights, they are restrictions on rights and no source calls them rights. The rights to self-defense and insurrection are of course separate rights, even though the second is partly predicted on the first. But the right to keep and bear arms is a separate auxiliary right, which is necessary in order to protect the first two rights. (That is anyway the explanation of the Bill of Rights 1689 and Blackstone as understood by scholars.) So it makes no sense to talk about more than one right to keep and bear arms. Instead, there is more than one reason why Blackstone considered it to be a right.
Celestra, I think that is a reference to DeConde's theory. But what he actually said was that the Bill of Rights 1689 excluded the Catholic minority and Parliament later passed legislation to disarm them. The Bill of Rights did not take away the right of Catholics to have arms, and DeConde does not claim it did.
TFD (talk) 17:14, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
TFD, It is hard for me to distinguish your personal opinion from the sources opinion in what you write. Could you rephrase what you just wrote by saying "expert X says this" and "expert Y says that", using page numbers if you can. Thanks. We are going to be seeing disagreement between the experts, so we will be needing to sort that out. SaltyBoatr get wet 17:31, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Do I need to find a source saying that the obligation to perform military and gun control are not rights, or is the fact that I am unable to find sources that they are rights sufficient. Perhaps you could assist and provide a source where they are referred to as rights. According to Malcolm, "He identified five "auxiliary" rights, the last being the right of the people to have arms.... Blackstone emphatically endorsed the view that keeping arms was necessary both for self defence, "the natural right of resistance and self preservation," and "to restrain the violence of oppression.""(p. 130)[8] Is there anything I have mentioned that any sources whatsoever question? I am having difficulty following your reasoning. TFD (talk) 18:54, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
So this view of Blackstone's view is well established on this talk page! No dispute from me. Got it! Moving on to the next task at hand. Should the 2A article (English history section) only show that one point of view? Are there other significant points of view seen in reliable sourcing? Should we include those other points of view fairly and without bias in the article? I am assuming your answer to those three questions are No, Yes and Yes. If my assumption is correct, our next task to discuss the other significant points of view seen in reliable sourcing. (As, I have been trying to do for a long time now.) Would you be willing to join me in doing this task? SaltyBoatr get wet 19:30, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Mis-interpretation of Blackstone, natural rights

The article presently includes the sentence: "In 1765, William Blackstone wrote the Commentaries on the Laws of England describing the right to have arms in England during the eighteenth century as a natural right of the subject that was "also declared" in the Bill of Rights." Citing to Joyce Lee Malcolm examination of this, pg 130 of her book. Blackstone is actually arguing that the natural right of self defense is part of the three natural rights: security, property and liberty. The Bill of Rights created some new auxiliary rights by law to provide for and protect the natural rights. In Blackstones words: "a public allowance, under due restriction" ... "if the Constitution had provided no other method to secure the actual enjoyment. It has therefore established certain other auxiliary rights of the subject". The new right to have arms is a "a public allowance, under due restriction" which "the Constitution...established" and is not actually a natural right as the article now falsely states but was created by law in 1689 in order to protect the ancient natural rights of security, property and liberty. This is an important distinction, which we need to correct. SaltyBoatr get wet 14:28, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

Salty is back to stating that the Bill of Rights "created" and thus gave the right instead of "protecting it". The idea that the English "took up arms" to depose a king in order to get a right to arms is worthy of the mad hatter. Salty, Where did those arms that they they "took up" come from?71.184.184.238 (talk) 11:07, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Blackstone speaks of a number of "natural auxiliary" right. What are those rights?
1: The constitution, powers and privileges of Parliament
2: Limitations of the power of the king
3: Applying to the Court of justice for a redress of injuries
4: Petitioning the King or Parliament or Both
5: The right to arms
The English Bill of Rights did not create Parliament, did not create the right or ability to limit a kings powers, did not create a court system, and did not create the right to petition. Similarly it did not create the right to arms.71.184.184.238 (talk) 12:14, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
By "Constitution", Blackstone is referring to the laws of England, not the Bill of Rights 1689. He wrote, "The fifth and last auxiliary right of the subject... is that of having arms for their defence.... Which is also declared by the same statute I W. & M. st. 2. c. 2. and is indeed 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."(Commentaries 1:139) I W. & M. st. 2. c. 2. is the Bill of Rights, which was passed in the first year of the reign of William and Mary (I W. & M.). Any law that is necessary to protect natural rights is part of the common law, whether or not there is a separate statute that recognizes it. TFD (talk) 13:29, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Salty stated that the Bill of Rights "created" the right to arms. To quote Salty " The Bill of Rights created some new auxiliary right" and "The new right to have arms"71.184.184.238 (talk) 13:50, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Please, stop using the talk page to tell us your personal ideas. Instead, tell us what sourcing says. The Malcolm book page 130 describes this pretty clearly, that "have arms" is an established auxiliary right. And the article gets this wrong. SaltyBoatr get wet 15:29, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
If your source states it was an established right, why are you stating it was created? 71.184.184.238 (talk) 15:32, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Again, stop WP:BATTLE. Also, read what I wrote above more carefully. The source I cite is quoting William Blackstone who wrote: " "if the Constitution had provided no other method to secure the actual enjoyment. It has therefore established certain other auxiliary rights of the subject"." Blackstone is using the word "established" as a verb, not as an adjective like you claim. The definition of the verb "established" is essentially synonymous with the verb "created". SaltyBoatr get wet 21:24, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
The English Constitution predates the English Bill of Rights. "established" without a specified date does not mean established by the Bill of Rights.It just means "established at some point in the past".71.184.184.238 (talk) 01:59, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Another useful source for the English History section - Bodenhamer

Being as we are trying to work this section out right now, another source that gives specific coverage to the issue of the English History being precedent to the American Second Amendment (including discussion of Blackstone) is the passage in Bodenhamer and Ely, ISBN 9780253219916, pages 89-91. This book confirms Malcolm's thesis that the duty to arms had transformed into a right to have arms. SaltyBoatr get wet 15:44, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

The book does not confirm anything other then that the author has an opinion!71.184.184.238 (talk) 22:47, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
and that opinion was "The English Settlers who populated North America in the seventeenth century were heirs to a tradition over five centuries old governing both the right and the duty to be armed." from Bodenhamers book The Bill of Rights in modern America, reprinting an Article authored by Cottrol and Diamond. Page 73. Also on that page "all persons were expected to participate in the hot pursuit of criminal suspects ...supplying their OWN arms for the occasion."71.184.184.238 (talk) 23:30, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Read further (p. 91): "[F]ive centuries... had transformed to duty... into a right...."[9] But it does not matter. What we need is not lots of examples of the different views but a source that explains which view is more widely accepted and why. TFD (talk) 23:52, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
You can't perform a "duty" to bear arms for group self defense, if you don't have the right to "keep" arms in the first place. The difference between the language you cited and the language I cited only shows that the authors didn't have a firm opinion on the subject.71.184.184.238 (talk) 12:40, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
The language you cited in Cottrol ISBN 9780815316664 on page "xii" is followed on the next page by the statement: "The need for community service had produced a traditional duty to be armed at English Law. But it took the religeous and political turmoil of the Seventeenth-century England to transform that duty into a modern notion of a political right to keep and bear arms." This confirms once again that the right to arms evolved from the duty to be armed, confirming the Malcolm thesis. Finally, can this proof end this interminable argument? SaltyBoatr get wet 13:08, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
I cited Bodenhamers book page 73. That book is a compilation of articles, including the one cited by me and authored by Cottrol and Diamond. I don't see how a duty for self defense "becomes" a political right to arms. A duty to engage in group self defense can only "SUPPORT" the right to arms. It doesn't create it.71.184.184.238 (talk) 13:25, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Frankly, it doesn't matter here if you agree with what we read or not. Wikipedia is not about whether you agree with the secondary sourcing, rather it is about WP:V. Stop it! Don't WP:BATTLE. See WP:TRUTH and WP:NOTTRUTH. SaltyBoatr get wet 15:50, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
The English Bill of Rights is quite verifiable and states within itself that the authors were protecting ancient rights abused by Charles II. The Second states within itself that the authors were protecting and enabling the ability to form militias. Funny how you deleted the militia language and replaced it with "slave control". Funny how now you want to get rid of the term "ancient rights". Looks like just another Salty POV push.71.184.184.238 (talk) 12:51, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
@TFD 23:52, 11 July 2010 (UTC) If that is what you need, look at the article by Lois Schwoerer, in the Chicago Kent Law Review which examines the Malcolm book which is the flagstaff of that duty=>right viewpoint and Schwoerer says the viewpoint is overwhelmingly dominate, to the point of becoming dogma: "(Malcolm's) book was enthusiastically received by American historians, legal commentators, and the gun community. Lengthy reviews, warmly praising it poured from the American law journals, including those of the highest reputation. Her argument has been described as 'irrefutable,' her research in political and legal history as 'meticulous,' her book as a "foundational text" of the so-called standard modelers. Predictably, the National Rifle Association promoted the book, and reviews in its journal were especially enthusiastic. Less predictably, indeed rather surprisingly, the book found favor from the bench: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia described it as "an excellent study"...It has been noted that no scholar has challenged Malcolm in print. That is, strictly speaking, not true, but it is true that of the formal published reviews, only two--one of them by me-- expressed reservations about the thesis and scholarship, and just two other historians have negatively criticized Malcolm's study in print. In short, Malcolm's thesis has been widely accepted; in some circles it enjoys the status of dogma respecting the English origins of the Second Amendment." The duty=>right viewpoint has been embraced by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and that is a very significant endorsement. Contrast this with the paucity of support for the 'ancient right' viewpoint being trumpeted here on this talk page. Ten thousand words, and just once secondary sourced citation, that is arguable a WP:FRINGE status. SaltyBoatr get wet 03:05, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Lets try this again, you can't perform the "duty" of group self defense unless you ALREADY have arms in your possession to do it with.71.184.184.238 (talk) 12:54, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Don't use the talk page to argue your personal ideas. Use secondary sourcing please. SaltyBoatr get wet 13:08, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Don't push you POV agenda on this article - see new section below and please respond71.184.184.238 (talk) 13:14, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
That endorsement of Malcolm does not mean that everything in her book is accepted. What do they say about her theory about the history of the right in English law before the Whig revolution? TFD (talk) 14:01, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

US Supreme Court in Heller states that - Thus, the right secured in 1689 as a result of the Stuarts’ abuses was by the time of the founding understood to be an individual right protecting against both public and private violence. A right "secured" is not a right "created".

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/secured - secured 1 a : to relieve from exposure to danger : act to make safe against adverse contingencies <secure a supply line from enemy raids> b : to put beyond hazard of losing or of not receiving : guarantee <secure the blessings of liberty — United States Constitution> 71.184.184.238 (talk) 14:11, 12 July 2010 (UTC)


@TFD. You can help find the answer to your new question which seems like a diversion. The point I made, which is very clear now, it that there is remarkably little criticism of Malcolm seen. (Next to zero in fact.) Indeed, beyond the one sentence in Cramer pg26 which doesn't even address Malcolm's thesis directly, editors here have failed to find any secondary sourcing in support of their argument. The only argument presented, incessantly, comes from the personal opinion of editors here. Stop it, per WP:NOR and WP:V.
When we check the secondary sourcing, we see virtually unanimous support for Malcolm's thesis coming across the board from leading historians, jurists, legal commentators, and the gun community. It is ironic that what we have here now on this talk page an argument that Joyce Lee Malcolm, who has been the darling of the gun rights community, is not 'pro-gun' enough! Really? This opposition to Malcolm is pushing to the realm of extreme pro-gun WP:FRINGE now. SaltyBoatr get wet 14:20, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

Salty - please respond

In "Experience in America prior to the U.S. Constitution" you deleted a reference to "establishing militias" as one of the reasons why the Founders considered the Second important, and replaced it with "slave control". Why did you delete the reason for the existence of the Second, which is WITHIN the Seconds language, replacing it with an obscure reference to "slave control'? My original posts on this BLATANT POV push, from 2 weeks ago are below and include links to you actions.


I find it disturbing that this article failed to mention the fact that the Second Amendment was in support of a citizens militia, a central concern of the Founders, yet something obscure like "slave control" is included. Bet you dollars to dimes that this is more POV slant by someone whose initials are SB.71.184.184.238 (talk) 15:12, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

Yup! Salty's the one who put in slave control http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution&diff=303401519&oldid=303367528

and removed an existing reference to militia http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution&diff=303545397&oldid=303544999

Adding in an obscure reason for the existence of the Second, while deleting what many consider the PRIMARY reason is BLATANT POV PUSH!


71.184.184.238 (talk) 13:12, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

You are trying to fabricate a personal controversy about me where none exists. Stop the WP:NPA and WP:BATTLE. I strongly support the assertion that one of the explanations of the reasons for the Second Amendment is for a citizens militia, and the reason I do is that I see that when I read secondary sourcing. I also see in secondary sourcing the thesis that one of the reasons was to maintain the antifederalist system of southern state slave patrol militias against the threats of federalist abolitionist infringement. Per WP:NPOV we should include all significant POV's seen. SaltyBoatr get wet 14:28, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
You removed from the article the primary reason for the Seconds enactment, listed WITHIN the Second itself, and replaced it with "slave control" which does not appear in any of the literature of the time. Why? other then to push your discredited militia based gun control POV?71.184.184.238 (talk) 16:01, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Ease up on the WP:BATTLE. You are arguing a snapshot in time from 2009, during the negotiation when we drafted that section. In the end, we reached a consensus as a group of editors, yet you are still attacking one editor from one edit on one day. Really? See WP:NPA. Accusing editors of POV push is considered against WP:CIVIL policy, stop it please. The entire body of my edits show that I am advocating for nothing more than inclusion of all significant POVs, including the POVs that I personally disagree. You and I can get along if we focus on what the secondary sourcing says, and not waste time attacking other editors personally. SaltyBoatr get wet 21:03, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
YOU took out the reason for the Second that is WITHIN the Second and replaced it with a miniscule viewpoint, with a following so small, that it does not even belong in the article. Why?71.184.184.238 (talk) 01:11, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
I did because I see at least a half a dozen reliable sources that discuss the 'slave control' theory. See the discussion above for a listing, though the most concise is the DeConde book pages 11-14. SaltyBoatr get wet 02:08, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
And how many sources state that one of the reasons was to establish a militia. You know! That there thingie that the Second Amendment starts of with, which you deleted?71.184.184.238 (talk) 12:40, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

And another source, Robert Cottrol

Here is another source that confirms the Malcolm thesis. See the book by Robert Cottrol ISBN 9780815316664 on page "xiii" which says: "The need for community service had produced a traditional duty to be armed at English Law. But it took the religious and political turmoil of the Seventeenth-century England to transform that duty into a modern notion of a political right to keep and bear arms." This book might also be useful to use when sourcing the English history section. SaltyBoatr get wet 16:05, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

What was the "not so modern" notion of a political right? How about an auxiliary right to the right to life and the right of self-defense. See Blackstone!71.184.184.238 (talk) 16:13, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Actually, if the question is what Blackstone meant, then we are not allowed to directly use the writings of Blackstone to confirm the meaning of Blackstone. Per WP:NOR policy we are required to use secondary sourcing that has written about Blackstone to discern what Blackstone meant. Fortunately, there is plenty of high quality secondary sourcing giving coverage to what Blackstone meant. We should be reading it, and we should be identifying the various points of view seen, and we should be including all significant points of view. What we shouldn't be doing is just including your personal point of view about what Blackstone meant. SaltyBoatr get wet 21:31, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
More SB bull!71.184.184.238 (talk) 01:09, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
I would encourage you to read the opening sentences of Wikipedia:No personal attacks. "Comment on Content not the contributor."  –Joshua Scott [who?] 02:30, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Considering that Salty has already tried to get references from Blackstone removed from the article, and has been repeatedly told that not only was Blackstone a usable source but a DAMN GOOD source, I change the above to - same OLD SB bull! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.184.184.238 (talk) 12:35, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Slave control in slave states

The above appears in the article as a reason for the Second. The originator of this view seems to be Cart T Bogus, sometimes Joyce Foundation employee.

As far as I can see it is is an attempt "to blacken by association".

I haven't seen anything from anyone else on this issue, and unless someone comes up with more sources, "INCLUDING some referencing primary documents from the Revolutionary War era, or those primary documents themselves," I will be deleting it as a small minority opinion not worth including in a wiki article.71.184.184.238 (talk) 13:55, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

Your choice of wording "blacken by association" when discussing militia slave patrols was perhaps unintentional, but it is unfortunately deeply offensive. SaltyBoatr get wet 14:14, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
I am sorry that the use of the English language offends you. What language would you like me to use?71.184.184.238 (talk) 19:31, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
I believe SB was referring to your using the word "blacken". To me, he appears to think that could be misinterpreted as a racial pun. Maybe you should be careful with your wording, but also SB should give you the benefit of the doubt. SMP0328. (talk) 19:42, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
I am aware of what he was objecting to. The term is still part of the English language and I know of no other English term that more accurately expresses what Bogus was doing.71.184.184.238 (talk) 19:53, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
Actually this viewpoint is seen in multiple reliable sources, have you seen the book by Cottrol and Diamond? ISBN 9780815316664 Deleting content because you don't like it doesn't match policy here. I realize that you intensely dislike Carl T. Bogus, but he is a well known Law Professor and author who is viewed as an expert in this topic. We are supposed to give coverage to to all significant points of view here. SaltyBoatr get wet 14:07, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
What page does he say that and is he referencing Bogus?71.184.184.238 (talk) 14:18, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
The book you reference is a "compilation" of court cases and law review journals. Your additional cite is "thin air".71.184.184.238 (talk) 14:42, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
Actually not. The Cottrol book speaks[10] at length about the role of race and slave control at the time of the drafting of the Second Amendment, and the importance of the militia/posse with slave control. (Hardly any surprise considering that the main support of the Second Amendment came from Virginians, with Virginia being a slave state which was deeply concerned about the northern federal power over southern state militias). These north-south tensions did not ease, and eventually played a big role in the Civil War/Reconstruction/14th Amendment, (see the dicta in McDonald discussing slaves bearing arms in the Dred Scott v. Sanford case). These same southern state militias were active for the next half century[11] until the Civil War, and afterward resulted in militia actions leading to the first important Supreme Court case pertaining to the 2A. This is not an isolated POV either. Exploration of this 'slave control' topic is published again in the Boddenhamer book, quote: "And an armed white population was essential to maintain social control over blacks and Native Americans who toiled unwillingly as slaves and servants in English settlements." Similarly, the Sally Hayden book also speaks of the issue of slave patrols versus freed slaves being granted the right to bear arms during the Revolutionary War on the side of the Loyalists], with this being on topic relative to the British History behind the Second Amendment. Objectively, the issue of militia's for slave control, and debate of the right of slaves (and later Negro militia's) to bear arms is solidly documented and vital to any discussion of the first century of Second Amendment history. SaltyBoatr get wet 20:00, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
Actually yes the Cottrol book is a compilation of various articles and court cases. One need only look at its table of contents for proof. If Virginia was so gung ho for militia use for slave control why is there no mention of slave control during the Virginia debate on ratification? Was the NH objection also based on slave control? In case you didn't know NH is a northern state without slavery.71.184.184.238 (talk) 21:18, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
If you dispute the Cottrol book as being a WP:RS, take that up at the RS noticeboard. I don't know the answers to your two non sequitur questions, but they seem intended to distract and are irrelevant to the policy standards here which are WP:V and WP:NPOV. And, I have cited strong evidence in reliable sourcing that the "slave control" issue is a significant point of view. SaltyBoatr get wet 23:43, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
If you haven't yet realized that I am objecting to "slave control" because it is a minor viewpoint, and therefore not worth of inclusion in a wiki article, let me enlighten you. I am objecting to "slave control" because it is a minor viewpoint, not worth of inclusion in a wiki article.71.184.184.238 (talk) 01:12, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
OK then. You are objecting under WP:UNDUE policy. Presently the article includes ten words of coverage to this topic which is seen in reliable sourcing, in this 15,000 word encyclopedia article. You seem to be arguing for zero words. How does zero words comply with WP:UNDUE policy? SaltyBoatr get wet 14:52, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Small minority opinions have no place in wikipedia, seems pretty clear to me. What part of that don't you understand?71.184.184.238 (talk) 16:56, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

I find it disturbing that this article failed to mention the fact that the Second Amendment was in support of a citizens militia, a central concern of the Founders, yet something obscure like "slave control" is included. Bet you dollars to dimes that this is more POV slant by someone whose initials are SB.71.184.184.238 (talk) 15:12, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

Yup! Salty's the one who put in slave control http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution&diff=303401519&oldid=303367528

and removed an existing reference to militia http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution&diff=303545397&oldid=303544999

Adding in an obscure reason for the existence of the Second, while deleting what many consider the PRIMARY reason is BLATANT POV PUSH!71.184.184.238 (talk) 19:43, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

Just checking to see if this is a significant point of view. Here are several more reliable sources, Spitzer ISBN 9780872894174, page 40: quote: "Further an article by the legal scholar Carl Bogus presents substantial evidence that southern state leaders supported inclusion of the Second Amendment to ensure that they could their state militias to suppress slave revolts." Also, the issue of militia slave suppression related to the Second Amendment was discussed at US Senate hearings in 1998[12]. There is also given coverage in the Southern California Law Review 1365 (1992-1993) in an article titled "Race, Riots, and Guns" authored by Carl Bogus[13]. And again in the UC Davis Law Review, 1998 see pages 335-337[14]. Clearly this is a significant viewpoint seen published in reliable sourcing. SaltyBoatr get wet 20:37, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
All your references above are either by Carl Bogus or cite Carl Bogus. The opinion of one person is not significant.71.184.184.238 (talk) 13:10, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Well, the founding father Patrick Henry argued to preserve the state militia system to protect against if "there should happen an insurrection of slaves", so there is at least one person beyond Carl Bogus who saw this as important. Or, do you also believe that the words of Patrick Henry are not significant? SaltyBoatr get wet 14:57, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
The quote from Patrick Henry comes from Elliot's Debates, a 5 volume set. If "slave control" was a major concern to the Founders then it would be widely debated in those volumes. It's not. 71.184.184.238 (talk) 17:10, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Additional confirmation of Patrick Henry's viewpoint that well directed slave patrols were necessary for the security of the state is seen in Ray Raphael book ISBN 9781595580733 who quotes Patrick Henry on page 152 speaking of the dangers of slave insurrection quote: "Attention to the Government of the SLAVES may, I hope, counteract this dangerous Attempt. Constant, and well directed Patrols, seem indispensably necessary." Plainly our founding father Patrick Henry, a Virginian slave owner, was well aware of the importance of well regulated slave patrols to maintaining public order against the risks of slave revolt. SaltyBoatr get wet 19:37, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Please include additional supporting sources other than Carl Bogus.::::

Deacons of Defense

While looking for more references to "slave control" I ran across a reference to what may have been the most influential militia of the 20th century, The Deacons of Defense.

"The Deacons for Defense and Justice were an armed self defense African American civil rights organization in the U.S. Southern states during the 1960s.The organization practiced self-defense methods in the face of racist oppression that was carried out by Jim Crow Laws; local and state agencies; and the Ku Klux Klan."

"An example of this type of force needed that made substantial change in the Deep South took place in early 1965. Black students picketing the local high school were confronted by hostile police and fire trucks with hoses. A car of four Deacons emerged and in view of the police calmly loaded their shotguns. The police ordered the fire truck to withdraw. This was the first time in the twentieth century, as Lance Hill observes, “an armed black organization had successfully used weapons go defend a lawful protest against an attack by law enforcement"

Survey: Should we agree to seek help from formal mediation?

It seems that we have had trouble working out a mutually agreement using the talk page. Hopefully a mediator can help guide us towards reaching an agreement that can be acceptable to everyone. What do you all say to this suggestion? Shall we engage the help of formal mediation?

  • NO. I would rather have a red hot poker shoved up my ass then deal with SaltyBoatr in mediation. The red hot poker would be less painful.71.184.184.238 (talk) 21:42, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Yes, of some type I think that the usual Wikipedia rules are weapons of warfare rather than a way to resolve this. I have some reservations.....getting a random volunteer mediator with the methods, commitment to impartiality and strength to resolve this would indeed be a stroke of luck. The other challenge is that the usual mechanism of an active talk page (alone) is not up to this task. A continuous stream of comments which disappear from view in a few days with nothing organized emerging. I have an idea / framework for a sub page that might work. If you wanted to give me a 3 week trial at orchestrating it, I would be willing to try. After that if I don't get a 75% vote of confidence I would resign. North8000 (talk) 23:40, 5 July 2010 (UTC)


Hauskalainen, TFD, and any other interested editors; would you please indicate your answer one way or the other to the survey asking about engaging formal mediation? SaltyBoatr get wet 21:26, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
  • I do not see that formal mediation would be useful, but would accept it. Note that agreement must be unanimous. TFD (talk) 00:02, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment. The only way mediation would have any chance of being productive is if each participating editor is willing to give in at least a little bit to other editors. If you are not willing to at all compromise your position mediation would be a waste of time for you. SMP0328. (talk) 00:30, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
  • I do not see that formal mediation should be used until all avenues have been exhausted.--Hauskalainen (talk) 00:39, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
The issue as I see is one of NPOV and I have placed a notice about this there already. However, the reviewers there have a daunting task trying to review the details of the dispute and the discussions. So here is my suggestion. Here is my suggestion.
1. I replace the request I have outstanding on the WP:NPOV Noticeboard with a note that we are endeavoring to reduce the volume of material for reviewers to review.
2. We archive off of the talk page ALL of the material we have discussed to date.
3. I will then write a summary of the NPOV issue as I see it. Salty can discuss with me if there are things I should add but it will be up to me to finalize the statement of issue. It is after all my issue and not his.
4. When the statement of issue has been written Salty will be responsible for generating his response to the issue in less than 200 words. He can take on board any input from any other person but his response in the final analysis will be his own.
5. I will then have a right of reply to anything which Salty has mentioned which I also must be under 200 words, but which I can waiver if I am happy that nothing he has said needs to be challenged.
6. When this has been done we leave only a clean version of the statement of issue, the reply and riposte (if any) on the TALK page. I will then inform the WP:NPOV noticeboard community that we are ready for the item to be reviewed.
How does that sound?--Hauskalainen (talk) 00:39, 8 July 2010 (UTC)


We must start with a review of WP:NPOV policy, and then attempt to follow the policy. Agreed? SaltyBoatr get wet 00:45, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Agreed.--Hauskalainen (talk) 00:50, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
NPOV policy: All Wikipedia articles and other encyclopedic content must be written from a neutral point of view, representing fairly, proportionately, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views that have been published by reliable sources. This is non-negotiable and expected of all articles and all editors. SaltyBoatr get wet 01:06, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
All reliable sources state that the US Supreme Court has ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual right unconnected with service in the militia. 71.184.184.238 (talk) 01:14, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
We are not discussing the Supreme Court. They are not the definitive source for English legal history. In fact they do not even have the power to interpret the laws of England. TFD (talk) 02:31, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

@Salty. No problem with presenting the Malcolm theory in the article. How this is done is perhaps an issue, and I will refer to it in the Issues statement and let you comment before I finalize it.

@ipuser. The Second Amendment is not the issue here. It is the presentation of English history.

@TFD. I am not a legal expert but last I heard, when it comes to the common law, British Courts will consider cases from outside the UK with a common law tradition including the United States and my uns´derstanding is that the Canadian, Australian and American Courts will do the same - so they can "interpret the laws of England" (and Wales; but I agree they are not a definitive source of history. --Hauskalainen (talk) 10:04, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps I should have said "All reliable sources state that the US Supreme Court has ruled that the Second Amendment protects a PRE-EXISTING individual right unconnected with service in the militia.—Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.184.184.238 (talkcontribs) 13:54, 8 July 2010 (UTC)


@Hauskalainen. Would you clarify what you mean in item #3 "It is after all my issue not his." This confuses me because I am not arguing "my issue". Instead, I am reading reliable sourcing and trying to fairly represent without bias what I see in that sourcing. I have not been arguing "my issue". I haven't even stated here what I personally believe to be true. SaltyBoatr get wet 14:39, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Sorry have been away due to unforeseen circumstances and now my time is short. The POV ISSUE is that your saying that "the right to have and use arms in ENGLAND stemmed from the DUTY to have arms" is POV. It is a POV that has been accepted by some but by no means by everyone. It is a minority POV coming from a clique of historians and others associated with the gun lobby. When I said "the issue is mine and not his" I meant by that that I wanted to keep the issue focused on the issue of the "revisionist" theory of Malcolm and not on any other issue. This is NOT a dispute about whether the "right" mentioned in the second amendment was a right associated with military service or if it was a personal right. It is about whether it is POV to say that the right stemmed from an obligation to do military service. --Hauskalainen (talk) 21:58, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
No problem about the time, take care of your business! You wrote: "It is a POV that has been accepted by some but by no means by everyone." When you get a chance, please tell us specifically who you are talking about when you say "by no means everyone"? In other words, please identify your reliable secondary sourcing for your assertion of the contrary viewpoint(s) to the Malcolm thesis. Thanks. SaltyBoatr get wet 22:29, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

And another, Uviller and Merkel

Here is another book that discusses the English history, including the English constitutional heritage, precedent to the Second Amendment. See Uviller and Merkel, pages 161-165, ISBN 0822330172. An important point made is the under the English system, "Rights were deemed just because they were (or claimed to be) old and established, that is to say: constituted." SaltyBoatr get wet 17:03, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

If a right was old and established, then it was not "created" by the English Bill of Rights. 71.184.184.238 (talk) 22:49, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
It would probably be best if you were to read pages 161-165 of that book for yourself, but summarizing it now: I think that the authors are making the point that sometimes these 17th Century legal commentators would claim that these rights were old and established when the rights weren't actually old and established. In the circumstance of the 17th Century, simply claiming the rights to be old and established was sufficient to deem them constituted. Feel free to read that passage in the book and tell me if I got it right or not. SaltyBoatr get wet 16:00, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
What proof do those two authors have that the right was NOT old and established?71.184.184.238 (talk) 16:03, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

For what it is worth, we only need to check for WP:Verifiability, not proof. The assertion that the 17th Century legal commentators were speaking figuratively when they claimed that these rights were "ancient" as described by U&M as or claimed to be', is also confirmed by Malcolm page 115. Quote: "(The parliamentary convention) enumerated the ways in which James II had subverted the constitution of the realm; listed thirteen rights and liberties of the people of England it characterized as "true, ancient, and indubitable" that were to be recognized unequivocally; and elevated William and Mary to the throne as king and queen of England. While the right of subjects to have arms had been singled out as one of the "true, ancient, and indubitable" rights to be included in the Declaration of Rights, it was neither true, ancient, nor indubitable. The Convention members themselves were its authors." The solidly refutes the assertion that the 'right to have arms' of the English Declaration of Rights was truely ancient, as it was just figuratively ancient according to these two verifiable reliable sources. SaltyBoatr get wet 00:56, 13 July 2010 (UTC)


Since We are talking about theories, the correct terminology is "evidence" not "proof". The evidence is that there is no record that anyone claimed there was a right to keep and bear arms before the emergence of Whig ideology. TFD (talk) 16:13, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. And, actually, maybe both of us are wrong. The correct terminology here is "verifiable". And, it is verifiable in reliable sourcing that the Malcolm thesis has been widely accepted, indeed almost universally accepted. SaltyBoatr get wet 18:24, 12 July 2010 (UTC)



But, was that because the right was unquestioned, like breathing, or because it didn't exist? There are no references to that right in early US Supreme Court decision because there were no gun control laws to contest, and not because the right to keep and bear arms didn't exist.
From Heller - " Federalists responded that because Congress was given no power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear arms, such a force could never oppress the people. See, e.g., A Pennsylvanian III (Feb. 20, 1788), in The Origin of the Second Amendment 275, 276 (D. Young ed., 2d ed. 2001) (hereinafter Young); White, To the Citizens of Virginia, Feb. 22, 1788, in id., at 280, 281; A Citizen of America, (Oct. 10, 1787) in id., at 38, 40; Remarks on the Amendments to the federal Constitution, Nov. 7, 1788, in id., at 556. " and " The prefatory clause does not suggest that preserving the militia was the only reason Americans valued the ancient right" 71.184.184.238 (talk) 16:49, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Your point is made. Still, at most, the 'ancient right' theory is but one POV, . We must also include the Malcolm thesis, because we must include all significant POV in the article. SaltyBoatr get wet 18:24, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
It is possible the right existed but people did not know it did. We still need to provide a source stating the relative acceptance of different views of the origins of the right. TFD (talk) 19:45, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I concede that anything is possible. The issue here is WP:V. I think that the Schwoerer paper in the Chicago-Kent Law Review[15] solidly verifies that the Joyce Lee Malcolm book is widely accepted. If we need more, we could follow through and check some of her footnotes, because she gives sourcing for all her claims. What is missing is evidence of just how well accepted the "ancient rights" hypothesis may be. Considering that a handful of editors here have been looking for confirmation of this hypothesis for more than a month now, and we have found next to nothing in reliable sourcing, well we can say (to put it charitably) that secondary sourcing of "evidence of acceptance" is hard to find. SaltyBoatr get wet 21:11, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Considering that the English Bill of Rights, within itself, calls the right to arms an ancient right, and considering the citations in Heller copied above, I think that that your "virtually nothing" comment is a bit off. Like meat left in the sun for a few days.71.184.184.238 (talk) 01:49, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
The hypothesis is in Cramer. We do not determine the acceptance of a theory by conducting our own original research or counting the number of writers who hold a particular point of view but need reliable third party sources that tell us this. The fact that the book is widely considered authoritative does not mean that every opinion presented is accepted. Her sources for the origin of the right are not helpful because she is presenting a theory. TFD (talk) 23:00, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Huh? Your idea about "not helpful because she is presenting a theory" seems odd. Where to you get that idea? And, for the record, we have third party confirmation of the numbers of experts who "accept" the Malcolm theory, this is give to us in the Schwoerer paper. Do you have problems with using the Malcolm book as a source for this article? If yes, be specific. We can take up any and all of your concerns with the RS noticeboard. SaltyBoatr get wet 00:56, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
You are not representing what I am saying. It is not a matter of reliable sourcing but of weight. To what extent is Malcom's theory that the right developed in the late 1600s accepted by the academic community? You must answer that with a reliable source before we can decide what weight to give her views. Can you please state Schwoerer says about this. TFD (talk) 01:25, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Well, Antonin Scalia in his book ISBN 9780691004006 (pgs 136-137) describes Joyce Lee Malcolm's book as being "excellent study". That kind of praise carries some weight, don't you agree? If a Supreme Court justice gives the Malcolm book weight, that is a pretty clear indicator that we can do so too. SaltyBoatr get wet 20:53, 14 July 2010 (UTC)


@TFD: Schwoerer writes: "(Malcolm's) book was enthusiastically received by American historians, legal commentators, and the gun community. Lengthy reviews, warmly praising it poured from the American law journals, including those of the highest reputation. Her argument has been described as 'irrefutable,' her research in political and legal history as 'meticulous,' her book as a "foundational text" of the so-called standard modelers. Predictably, the National Rifle Association promoted the book, and reviews in its journal were especially enthusiastic. Less predictably, indeed rather surprisingly, the book found favor from the bench: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia described it as "an excellent study"...It has been noted that no scholar has challenged Malcolm in print. That is, strictly speaking, not true, but it is true that of the formal published reviews, only two--one of them by me-- expressed reservations about the thesis and scholarship, and just two other historians have negatively criticized Malcolm's study in print. In short, Malcolm's thesis has been widely accepted; in some circles it enjoys the status of dogma respecting the English origins of the Second Amendment." Also, for what it is worth, the Supreme Court's majority opinion written in Heller also makes reference to Malcolms book, twice.

The first 10 pages of the book covers early English history from 1200 to 1600. Essentially all of the rest of the book is devoted to analysis of the events of the late 1600's in England except for the last chapter that discusses the First U.S. Congress of 1789. Is there any doubt that this book qualifies as an well verified source? SaltyBoatr get wet 01:40, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

UN-believable - Hey Salty! Did you know that Schweorer disagrees with Malcolm? http://www.saf.org/LawReviews/SchwoererChicago.htm "My essay, however, contests its thesis, attempts to show why it is unacceptable, and offers a reading of the evidence and of the nature of late-seventeenth-century and eighteenth-century English society and thought that is different from that of Professor Malcolm"71.184.184.238 (talk) 01:34, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Wow. Of course I knew it, do you think I am stupid? This makes me guess that I am the only person here who has actually read her paper. The supreme irony is that I have been branded as a gun grabber, while at the same time I am arguing to include the material from Joyce Malcolm who is a well known pro-gun author! Lets just read it all, and include it all fairly without bias. SaltyBoatr get wet 01:46, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
"and include it all fairly without bias"???? Please! Why would I think you are stupid, when you out took the reason for the Second, that is written as part of the Second, and got rid of it from the article, to replace it with "slave control". That's not stupidity, that's POV push!71.184.184.238 (talk) 01:54, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Isn't the most relevant part of her thesis how the right was understood by the Whigs and the American revolution? Whether the right came to be recognized in the 1600s or existed from time immemorial is really irrelevant to how these rights are interpreted today. We need commentary on that. TFD (talk) 02:48, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
No. While the bulk of her book, roughly 80% is a discussion of what the right to have arms meant in the time frame of 1660-1690. She then concludes with an afterwards arguing the "individual rights viewpoint", which actually has been highly influential during the last decade. (The most notable person showing influence being Antonin Scalia.) Also, you may want to see additional commentary, but I don't see that question being relative to the question of whether the Malcolm book qualifies as being a reliable source, and therefore being a valid source in this article. This book is a valid source. Also, you appear to plain wrong about your "really irrelevant to how these rights are interpreted today" assertion. The elephant in the room is the argument of originalism, (or pseudo-orginalism depending on one's POV) being used by the SCOTUS in 2008 and 2010. This "individual rights thesis" championed by Malcolm has been HUGELY relevant to the interpretation today! Indeed, let's be honest, that originalism is the subcontext of this present talk page dispute. SaltyBoatr get wet 17:05, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
If Scalia was really using originalism, he'd make more then a passing mention of the fact that those Founders that demanded a Bill of Rights were more then a little afraid that the federal government would grow unchecked, would eventually disband the militias, except for "select militias" under government control, and pretty much wipe out "common law" rights in the process. At that point arms in the hands of individuals could be used to overthrow that tyrannical government. Following is from the article

The orthodox view of the meaning of the Second Amendment was articulated by Joseph Story in his influential Commentaries on the Constitution. In his view the meaning of the Amendment was clear:

The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted by any persons, who have duly reflected upon the subject. The militia is the natural defence of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers. It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time of peace, both from the enormous expenses, with which they are attended, and the facile means, which they afford to ambitious and unprincipled rulers, to subvert the government, or trample upon the rights of the people. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them. And yet, though this truth would seem so clear, and the importance of a well regulated militia would seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised, that among the American people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition, from a sense of its burthens, to be rid of all regulations. How it is practicable to keep the people duly armed without some organization, it is difficult to see. There is certainly no small danger, that indifference may lead to disgust, and disgust to contempt; and thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by this clause of our national bill of rights.[88]71.184.184.238 (talk) 17:22, 13 July 2010 (UTC)



If the Whigs wrote the English Bill of Rights then their thoughts are on the document itself. THEY say that they are protecting "ancient" rights abused by Charles II, on that document.71.184.184.238 (talk) 12:42, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
I understand that argument. What we need to know is how widely accepted it is. TFD (talk) 16:23, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Among those writing the English Bill of Rights, it was either the most supported or the least objectionable language. That is how politics works. Anyone today, who doesn't accept that this language is in the English Bill of Rights is by definition "not a reliable source". The language is there, plain as day, to anyone who wants to look. Any researcher who can't be bothered to look is a piss poor researcher. 71.184.184.238 (talk) 16:35, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes we know that is what they wrote, but we do not know if it is true. I know that is how politics work, history is re-written in order to legitimize current rulers. But that is not how history should be written. TFD (talk) 19:52, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Historical Documents aren't usually rewritten long after the fact and the forgeries used to replace the original DOCUMENTS and LANGUAGE. Are you saying that the English Bill of Rights language that we cite today is from such a FORGERY?71.184.184.238 (talk) 20:40, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Counteracting Confirmation Bias?

Looking back on the last six weeks of dispute here, a recurring factor has been where various editors have rejected verified content published in reliable sources presented here because of an apparent cognitive dissonance with the editors personal beliefs about the topic. This form of editor confirmation bias has been highly disruptive. I am asking that editors examine the pattern of discussion above and answer the question of whether decisions about the article should be made on presumption of what is known as 'truth', or should all significant POVs be included, even those which don't align with the personal belief system of the editors? SaltyBoatr get wet 18:51, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Looking back on the last six weeks of dispute here, a recurring factor was Salty engaging in edit wars, and finding that he could not get his way, asking for an article freeze, blaming others for edit warring, when in fact he himself was the one who engaged and continued those edit wars despite warnings.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution/Archive_28#SB.2FHauskalainen_-_rules_on_edit_war_and_3_revert_rule http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution/Archive_29#Salty_Boatr_-_You_are_already_in_violation_of_3RR

BTW: "slave control" is not a significant POV and needs to be deleted. 71.184.184.238 (talk) 19:13, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

For those who are interested, I have cited a significant number of reliable sources that describe the issue of slave patrol militias as being a part of the reason for drafting the 2A, see here[16] and here [17]. This seems to be a situation where AnonIP is experiencing confirmation bias and is simply unable to see something because it conflicts with his perception of 'truth'. Remember, per NPOV policy we must include significant viewpoints seen, even if they don't match our personal world views. SaltyBoatr get wet 19:40, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
My fixation is with the fact that you removed a reference to the militia being one of the reasons for drafting the Second and replacing that reason, which is part of the Second itself, with an obscure reason like "slave control" which appears in few, if any, Revolutionary War era documents. 71.184.184.238 (talk) 20:09, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Hey Salty: If slave control was more then an obscure issue it would appear in a number of places within Elliot's debates. Here you go, 5 volumes of historical goodness - Knock yourself out http://teachingamericanhistory.org/ratification/elliot/71.184.184.238 (talk) 20:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Actually Patrick Henry, a Founding Father, argued explicitly that state control of militia must be preserved to protect against if "there should happen an insurrection of slaves", this is described in several places including in the 2009 book by Wendell Phillips, ISBN 9781110430550. Don't get me wrong, I am not arguing this is a major POV, but clearly it is a significant minority POV seen in reliable sourcing. Presently the 15,000 word article spends ten words on this viewpoint. That is hardly undue weight. It seems that you actually oppose the mention of this viewpoint because you personally don't like it. Policy here is that we should give fair neutral coverage to all significant viewpoints. SaltyBoatr get wet 13:28, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
The quote from Patrick Henry comes from Elliot's Debates, a 5 volume set. If "slave control" was a major concern to the Founders then it would be widely debated in those volumes. It's not. 71.184.184.238 (talk) 17:07, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
From what I can see, the references SB points to above seem to substantiate that the 2A militia component has been used for slave control, but doesn't support the idea that this was a driving force behind the creation of the 2A. I don't see the slave issue in any of the books that I own on the subject. AliveFreeHappy (talk) 17:23, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
There is no question that there was some concern by some of the founding fathers as to whether they could use the state militias to put down slave revolts, but as you point out it is a secondary issue. The northerners didn't care because they didn't own slaves and most southerners could not conceive of being deprived of their right to their private arms. 71.184.184.238 (talk) 17:47, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
@AliveFreeHappy writes "I don't see the slave issue in any of the books that I own on the subject". Confirmation bias could affect which books you chose to buy and read. Though, plainly, there is significant coverage in seen in reliable sources (albeit books which you don't own) that one of the driving forces was to maintain state control of the militia system as Patrick Henry said: "there should happen an insurrection of slaves". WP:NPOV says we should not give undue weight to minority opinions. Presently we devote ten words out of 15,000 words to this 'slave insurrection' point of view. 10/15,000 is not undue weight. SaltyBoatr get wet 17:58, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Confirmation bias is more likely to happen when you do a web search.i.e you tend to find only what you search for.71.184.184.238 (talk) 20:21, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
The books I have cover a range from "pro-gun-rights" to "anti-gun-rights" to "don't care about the gun rights issue, just history". Even the example you give puts the slave issue as a tertiary reason. In the idea of UNDUE it's not 10 words out of 15,000, it's the list of issues given, we should be careful that the lists are the "mainstream" view. IE a list of reasons given for the 2nd amendment that has 4 or 5 items that are near universal, and one tertiary item is possibly unbalanced. We need to be careful as you say with confirmation bias from using sources that aren't representative of mainstream so we can understand how relavent they are in the field. for example U&M is quoted frequently, but is not a mainstream thesis. In fact they claimed new conclusions in history (their publisher calls it a "fresh interpretation" IE a new/alternate/non-mainstream interpretation), and of course new conclusions must of necessity not be mainstream. AliveFreeHappy (talk) 22:26, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
I have already given a number of citations to reliable sources above which give coverage to the 'slave control' hypothesis several times above. Also, two of these citations have been included in the article, (which has been stable for almost a year) reflecting the prior consensus which was developed to include 'slave control' as one of the times in the list of "for one or more of these purposes" listing seen in the article:

"In no particular order, early American settlers viewed the right to arms and/or the right to bear arms and/or state militias as important for one or more of these purposes:[28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35][36]"

  • deterring undemocratic government;
  • repelling invasion;
  • suppressing insurrection;
  • facilitating a natural right of self-defense;
  • participating in law enforcement;
  • enabling the people to organize a militia system,
  • slave control in slave states.
(When I look at this list copied from the article glaringly absent is: "self protection within the home", !!!) Are you asking me to repeat the "slave control in slave states" citations I have given already here again now? I will do so, but no wonder this talk page grows so big. The most prominent proponent of this hypothesis is Carl Bogus, see footnote 33 and 34. This Carl Bogus hypothesis is confirmed by similar coverage in a number of sources as being a significant minority viewpoint. DeConde pgs 20-22, Uviller and Merkel page 178 & 182. Also, Robert Cottrol speaks independently of the race element behind the drafting of the 2A in his book, pg "xv". Clayton Cramer in his chapter VII discusses the issue of arming (or not arming) slaves relative to original intent of the 2A. See also Boddenhamer/Ely on page 75. Sally Hadden, pg 160 speaks of slaves bearing arms and in the Revolutionary War, which was the same issue which Patrick Henry was concerned about when Henry appealed for "Attention to the Government of the SLAVES ...well directed Patrols, seem indispensably necessary" See also the book by Otis Singletary, Negro Militias and Reconstruction which covers in depth the issue of bearing arms. Also, remember that the first Supreme Court case ruled that the states were not infringed by the federal government with regard to regulation of the white militia in Louisiana, which directly pertains to the 2A and the right to bear arms for freemen who were attempting to exercise their right to form a negro militia, and the SCOTUS ruled that indeed southern states could continue their longstanding practice of using white militia for race control with the Jim Crow laws. Don't get me wrong, but my point here is that this viewpoint absolutely has been seen in reliable sourcing to a minor but significant extent, enough to warrant a small mention in the article. These are the citations I remember, and I probably have forgotten a few. SaltyBoatr get wet 23:07, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
The cites you listed were probably added by you, at the time you added the "slave control" language and took out the "militia" language. You seem to have an POV control issue, plainly shown by your inclusion of the minorly relevant "slave control" reason and the deletion of the primary militia reason. Your cites also point to your bias, as it was the MILITIA which was to be used for slave control, and per those cites slave control fall under "why a militia is needed" instead of itself being a stand alone reason. 71.184.184.238 (talk) 01:16, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Do you realize that self protection within the home falls under "facilitating a natural right of self-defense"? as does self defense "outside the home".71.184.184.238 (talk) 01:19, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Merkel was grad student until 2005 so some of the references to him are from before he got even his PHD. His resume currently lists him as an Associate Professor. He might rank as a second stringer right now but 5 years ago we wasn't even a "bench warmer". 10 years ago he fell under "waterboy".71.184.184.238 (talk) 01:26, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Patrick Henry was a hardcore pro-guns advocate

Probably because he was involved first hand at the receiving end of "gun control", when the British seized militia gunpowder stored in Williamsburg, Virginia. If there was any reason to have a gun, no matter how obscure or secondary, Patrick Henry was the man to find that reason.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunpowder_Incident

The Hanover County militia, numbering about 150 and led by Patrick Henry, reached Williamsburg first on May 3. Henry was advised by Carter Braxton, a Patriot member of the House of Burgesses, not to enter the city, so he took up station a few miles away. That day Dunmore's family escaped to Porto Bello, Lord Dunmore's hunting lodge on the York River,[5] and from there to the HMS Fowey, lying at anchor in the York River. The next day, May 4, Henry received £330 in royal funds transferred from the accounts managed by Braxton's father-in-law, Richard Corbin, who was the Deputy Collector of the Royal Revenue in Virginia, as payment for the powder.[4] Henry then departed to take his place as a member of Virginia's delegation to the Second Continental Congress. On May 6 Dunmore issued a proclamation charging Henry with extortion of the £330, and forbidding the citizenry to assist Henry in any way.

The above is for information purposes only, so that editors have a bit more background on the era and one of the major players. I don't intend to include in into the article so don't start blathering either "original research" or "synthesis"71.184.184.238 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 18:03, 14 July 2010 (UTC).

"Civic duty" viewpoint infests the article like a pus-filled cancer

The "civic duty" theory originated with Saul Cornel, and it was not the original theory as the article now states. This theory has a following so small that it was never even considered by the Supreme Court in Heller, which ruled the Second protected an individual right. All Justices agreed on this point, and yes! That includes the dissenting judges as well.

Now that the "collective rights" / "Civic duty" garbage has been deep sixed here in the US, Salty is trying to get it backdated to England.

If the Second Amendment was written "A well educated citizenry, being necessary for a free state, the right to keep and read books shall not be infringed" Salty would say that Books are limited to those already well educated. Plainly this is a crazy notion and why the US Supreme Court rightly stated that the "collective rights" interpretation (i.e. guns are allowed only to those in a government sanctioned militia) was "worthy of the mad hatter". 71.184.184.238 (talk) 01:42, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Actually you are wrong here. Saul Cornell discusses this "civic right" viewpoint relative to George Tucker's interpretation of the Second Amendment, and Justice Stevens cites this paper in his Heller dissent (see Steven's footnote 32 where he references Saul Cornell's paper St. George Tucker and the Second Amendment : Original Understandings and Modern Misunderstandings, 47Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1123 (2006). SaltyBoatr get wet 19:47, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
There is no surprise here that we see more than one point of view about the 2A in the reliable sourcing. The fundamental question is: Do we edit an article that shows just the favored point of view? (Deleting the other POVs which we don't like.) Or, do we write an article that fairly shows all the significant points of views seen in reliable sourcing? (Including the POVs we may not personally agree with.) SaltyBoatr get wet 15:14, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
When I questioned the validity of the Chicago Kent Law review issue published under the control of the Joyce Foundation, I was told by admin that those authors who support the collective rights view can be included in the article , as follows "HOWEVER, I would tend to think that these articles could be cited primarily for the fact that there were academics who held the view that the Second Amendment is a collective, not individual, right. That was their opinion, and it was a notable opinion that could be described as an opinion in a Wikipedia article. But the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, several years after the CKLR issue was published, that the Second Amendment protects an individual right."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution/Archive_29#Chicago_Kent_problem_issue —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.184.184.238 (talk) 17:42, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

AnonIP keeps repeating the "worthy of a mad hatter" argument. Putting this in perspective, this is a reference to Antonin Scalia's rationale given in dicta to Heller. It echos a well known 'individual rights' meme which points to the wording in a pamphlet issued by a disaffected member of the Pennsylvanian ratification convention named Robert Whitehill. The reasoning goes that Mr. Whitehill has credibility telling us what James Madison meant when he wrote the Second Amendment and Mr. Whitehill's opinion should be given weight. Maybe this is true (as Antonin Scalia asserts), though there is disagreement seen in reliable sourcing about the weight to be given to Mr. Whitehills pamphlet. See for instance the analysis of this Whitehill meme where Garry Wills writes: "From this we are to conclude that this one man, who could not even get a discussion of his points started in the convention, is explaining to us the meaning of the Second Amendment, drafted by Madison, who was in total disagreement with every other thing on Whitehill's list. ... This violates the Jeffersonian maxim that we should expound a document's meaning from those who approved it, not those who disapproved." Garry Wills argues[18] that reliance on the Whitehill pamphlet to discern the meaning of the Second Amendment defies reason. There is plainly more than one POV seen, and to be fair, we should represent each. SaltyBoatr get wet 16:02, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
BTW: A few minutes worth of work will show that Whitehill DID present his ideas to the members of the Pennsylvania Ratification Convention. Seems all the guys you quote are at best second raters, who can't be bothered to check the facts. http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch14s29.html71.184.184.238 (talk) 18:02, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Actually, the fact is that he tried to present his ideas to the convention and his attempts were dismissed[19]. SaltyBoatr get wet 19:31, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Actually he DID present his ideas at the convention and that is recorded by those present at that convention. Too bad Wills is such a pathetic researcher that he couldn't bother to examine historical documents. 71.184.184.238 (talk) 19:55, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
The people who award the Pulitzer Prize seem to disagree[20] with you. Seriously, what is your point? The article gives coverage to this so called 'Pennsylvania minority report', and the article attempts to give a balanced coverage to the various points of view seen. Again and again you come to this talk page with the apparent complaint that the article doesn't match your personal point of view. Sorry, see the policy WP:NPOV. Our task here is to set aside our personal point of view and to edit fairly and without bias what we see in reliable sourcing. How else can your choice of words "like a pus-filled cancer" be interpreted? Stop the WP:BATTLE please. SaltyBoatr get wet 00:24, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
If Wills wrote that this "4. That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel nor unusual punishments inflicted." Is in total disagreement with this "Eighth Amendment – Prohibition of excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishment. - Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted." , then the only thing he deserves in a "Booby Prize".71.184.184.238 (talk) 12:41, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
I see your logic, you point to a similarity you see between what Robert Whitehill wrote and the Bill of Rights. Then you conclude that, therefore, the book by Garry Wills should be considered an invalid source. That isn't the way policy works around here. Even if the point of view expressed by Garry Wills in his book is "wrong", what matters is whether or not the point of view is significant and verified. When I check[21] to see if other books use the Garry Wills books as a source, I see that he has been repeatedly cited by other authors. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that this source is significant. When I check the reliability of the publisher of his book, I see that Simon & Schuster has a good reputation for fact checking and accuracy. Therefore the book is verified. According to policy here, it doesn't really matter if editors personally disagree with the sources. Please stop arguing with the sources by giving your personal opinion, it is pointless to the purpose of editing an encyclopedia and disruptive. SaltyBoatr get wet 14:34, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────If Wills wrote that this "4. That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel nor unusual punishments inflicted." Is in total disagreement with this "Eighth Amendment – Prohibition of excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishment. - Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted." , then the only thing he deserves in a "Booby Prize" and a t least THAT portion of his work in UNRELIABLE!! 71.184.184.238 (talk) 15:17, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
Repeating yourself and bolding text doesn't improve your persuasiveness. (Hint: Use third party reliable sources if you want to persuade other editors.) Also, your original research matters little here. Your WP:OR implication that Robert Whitehill originated the declaration of a right to be free from excessive bail seems whimsical. When I check sourcing it seems that his so-called "minority report" was written by copying items from the Pennsylvanian Constitution, and sources say that the Pennsylvanian Constitution drew upon the concepts of Charterism. One of the petitioned complaints of the Charterists was against "excessive bail". So, your attempt to pump up the status of Robert Whitehill seems weak because Mason and Madison were certainly well aware of the "excessive bail" complaint of the Charterists and certainly did not need Robert Whitehill to tell them of such. That said, what your the point now? I 'favor including a fair balance of all the significant POVs including the ones like, as seen in reliable sourcing. I oppose scrubbing out just the POVs that you personally dislike because they run contrary to a Robert Whitehill fixation. SaltyBoatr get wet 18:15, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
If Wills wrote that this "4. That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel nor unusual punishments inflicted." is in total disagreement with this "Eighth Amendment – Prohibition of excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishment. - Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted." , then the only thing he deserves in a "Booby Prize" and at least THAT portion of his work in UNRELIABLE! His opinion is also a small minority opinion! VERY Small!71.184.184.238 (talk) 19:05, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
What is your point? You've said three times: "If Wills wrote...". While in fact Wills didn't write that, at least he didn't write it in this book ISBN 978-0684844893 which we are "discussing" now. If you have problems with using Garry Wills book as a source, it would be helpful if you would mention precisely which wording in this article is troublesome, and to mention the page number in Wills' book which causes you grief. SaltyBoatr get wet 19:36, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
YOU quoted him as saying that! Now you say he didn't! Are you lying now or were you lying then?71.184.184.238 (talk) 20:23, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
My point is that if Wills wrote that this "4. That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel nor unusual punishments inflicted." is in total disagreement with this "Eighth Amendment – Prohibition of excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishment. - Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted." , then the only thing he deserves in a "Booby Prize" and at least THAT portion of his work in UNRELIABLE! His opinion is also a small minority opinion! A VERY VERY VERY small minority opinion! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.184.184.238 (talk) 20:21, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't think I ever claimed that Garry Wills wrote about "excessive bail". So if you are going to call me a liar, please have the courtesy to specifically identify the diff where I lied. Also, could you answer the question which I asked you twice now: What is your point? SaltyBoatr get wet 21:13, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
You quoted Wills as saying "From this we are to conclude that this one man, who could not even get a discussion of his points started in the convention, is explaining to us the meaning of the Second Amendment, drafted by Madison, who was in total disagreement with every other thing on Whitehill's list. ... This violates the Jeffersonian maxim that we should expound a document's meaning from those who approved it, not those who disapproved." THEN you said "While in fact Wills didn't write that". Both statements can't be true. If both can't be true then one is a lie. 71.184.184.238 (talk) 03:00, 17 July 2010 (UTC)


Salty, Would you say that anyone who pushed the viewpoint that this language "A well educated citizenry, being necessary for a free state, the right to keep and read books shall not be infringed" limits the rights to books to only those already well educated is a nutjob, a wacko, a crazed person, someone with a few loose screws etc. etc. etc.?
Salty your points above would carry more weight if Madison wrote the Second Amendment BEFORE Whitehill supposedly commented on it. As it is your distortions above only shows your desperation to save something from your years of pushing something worthy of "the mad hatter".
Lastly, you can tell me if this passage from Nunn v State of Georgia (1846) supports an individual or collective rights.

Nor is the right involved in this discussion less comprehensive or valuable: "The right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed." The right of the whole people, old and young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear arms of every description, not such merely as are used by the militia, shall not be infringed, curtailed, or broken in upon, in the smallest degree; and all this for the important end to be attained: the rearing up and qualifying a well-regulated militia, so vitally necessary to the security of a free State. Our opinion is, that any law, State or Federal, is repugnant to the Constitution, and void, which contravenes this right, originally belonging to our forefathers, trampled under foot by Charles I. and his two wicked sons and successors, reestablished by the revolution of 1688, conveyed to this land of liberty by the colonists, and finally incorporated conspicuously in our own Magna Charta!71.184.184.238 (talk) 17:53, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Is Wills a piss poor source? If Salty quoted him right then yes he is.

Per Salty Wills stated the following

"From this we are to conclude that this one man, who could not even get a discussion of his points started in the convention, is explaining to us the meaning of the Second Amendment, drafted by Madison, who was in total disagreement with every other thing on Whitehill's list. ... This violates the Jeffersonian maxim that we should expound a document's meaning from those who approved it, not those who disapproved.

Whitehill did in fact present the idea of a Bill of Rights in the Pensylvania Ratification Convention http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch14s29.html

Anyone who compares Whitehills list of Proposed Amendments will find the majority of them included in the Bill of Rights drafted by Madison http://www.constitution.org/afp/pennmi00.htm

1. The right of conscience shall be held inviolable, and neither the legislative, executive nor judicial powers of the United States shall have authority to alter, abrogate, or infringe any part of the constitution of the several states, which provide for the preservation of liberty in matters of religion.

2. That in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man and man, trial by jury shall remain as heretofore, as well in the federal courts, as in those of the several states.

3. That in all capital and criminal prosecutions, a man has a right to demand the cause and nature of his accusation, as well in the federal courts, as in those of the several states; to be heard by himself and his counsel, to be confronted with the accusers and witnesses; to call for evidence in his favor, and a speedy trial by an impartial jury of his vicinage, without whose unanimous consent, he cannot be found guilty, nor can he be compelled to give evidence against himself; and that no man be deprived of his liberty, except by the law of the land or the judgment of his peers.

4. That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel nor unusual punishments inflicted.

5. That warrants unsupported by evidence, whereby any officer or messenger may be commanded or required to search suspected places, or to seize any person or persons, his or their property, not particularly described, are grievous and oppressive, and shall not be granted either by the magistrates of the federal government or others.

6. That the people have a-right to the freedom of speech, of writing and publishing their sentiments, therefore, the freedom of the press shall not be restrained by any law of the United States.

7. That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and their own state, or the United States, or for the purpose of killing game; and no law shall be passed for disarming the people or any of them, unless for crimes committed, or real danger of public injury from individuals; and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up: and that the military shall be kept under strict subordination to and be governed by the civil powers.

8. The inhabitants of the several states shall have liberty to fowl and hunt in seasonable times, on the lands they hold, and on all other lands in the United States not inclosed, and in like manner to fish in all navigable waters, and others not private property, without being restrained therein by any laws to be -passed by the legislature of the United States.

9. That no law shall be passed to restrain the legislatures of the several states from enacting laws for imposing taxes, except imposts and duties upon goods imported or exported, and postage on letters shall be levied by the authority of Congress.

10. That the house of representatives be properly increased in number; that elections shall remain free; that the several states shall have power to regulate the elections for senators and representatives, without being controled either directly or indirectly by any interference on the part of the Congress, and that elections of representatives be annual.

11. That the power of organizing, arming and disciplining the militia (the manner of disciplining the militia to be prescribed by Congress) remain with the individual states, and that Congress shall not have authority to call or march any of the militia out of their own state, without the consent of such state, and for such length of time only as such state shall agree.

That the sovereignty, freedom and independency of the several states shall be retained, and every power, jurisdiction and right which is not by this constitution expressly delegated to the United States in Congress assembled.

12. That the legislative, executive, and judicial powers be kept separate; and to this end that a constitutional council be appointed, to advise and assist the president, who shall be responsible for the advice they give, hereby the senators would be relieved from almost constant attendance; and also that the judges be made completely independent.

13. That no treaty which shall be directly opposed to the existing laws of the United States in Congress assembled, shall be valid until such laws shall be repealed, or made conformable to such treaty; neither shall any treaties be valid which are in contradiction to the constitution of the United States, or the constitutions of the several states.

14. That the judiciary power of the United States shall be confined to cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, to cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; to controversies to which the United States shall be a party; to controversies between two or more states_between a state and citizens of different states -- between citizens claiming lands under grants of different states; and between a state or the citizen thereof and foreign states, and in criminal cases, to such only as are expressly enumerated in the constitution, and that the United States in Congress assembled, shall not have power to enact laws, which shall alter the laws of descents and distribution of the effects of deceased persons, the titles of lands or goods, or the regulation of contracts in the individual states.

Some of the language is almost an exact match - compare the 8th Amendment to proposed Amendment 4 above

Eighth Amendment – Prohibition of excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishment. - Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

71.184.184.238 (talk) 18:19, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Spare us your original research, (we cannot use it per WP:NOR), and it disrupts the talk page. No one, including Garry Wills contests that Robert Whitehill attended the convention, nor that he attempted to get his protests admitted. Still, he failed at this attempt. After the convention he published these proposed amendments as this so-called "minority report". The key point is that his attempts to get the amendments admitted were officially dismissed[22]. Whitehill held a minority viewpoint. We see differing POV here and one POV seen in reliable sourcing is that reliance on the viewpoint of the minority (Whitehill) to discern the meaning of the majority who drafted the Second Amendment defies logic[23]. SaltyBoatr get wet 19:16, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Spare us your obstructionism! Per the quote YOU listed, Whitehill did not get to do anything at the convention. He in fact, got enough of a discussion going to have over 20 other members sign off on his ideas.71.184.184.238 (talk) 19:53, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Since you missed it, Whitehill was not only one of that majority that wanted a Bill of Rights, but was on the very short list of peoples whose opinion was considered when writing that document, which BTW has already been pointed out to you.71.184.184.238 (talk) 20:08, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Actually when you check reliable sources you see that Whitehill was in the minority at the convention: "Whitehill himself proposed amendments and when his views were not heeded" See book by Jon Wakelyn, ISBN 9780313331947, page 225. SaltyBoatr get wet 20:22, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Whitehill was one of the majority "in the colonies" who wanted a Bill of Rights. The majority in Pennsylvania who did not want a Bill of Rights had to give way to the majority who did. That majority was in part led by Whitehill.71.184.184.238 (talk) 20:51, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Actually, the Federal Bill of Rights that was eventually enacted was MUCH different than the Bill of Rights which Robert Whitehill wished for in his so-called minority report. The biggest difference was the continuance of the Federalized Militia, and Whitehill was soundly rejected in that regard. Don Higginbothem and several others write about this. SaltyBoatr get wet 21:21, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
From section below - A comparison of Whitehill's 14 points to the Constitution, the nation's "Bill of Rights," shows that eight originated from his proposals.71.184.184.238 (talk) 02:54, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

Whitehill - Direct quotes from link - No OR

http://explorepahistory.com/hmarker.php?markerId=851

Robert Whitehill (1735-1813) is not very well known today, but it is not too much of an exaggeration to call him the father of the Bill of Rights.

A comparison of Whitehill's 14 points to the Constitution, the nation's "Bill of Rights," shows that eight originated from his proposals.

Throughout his forty-year political career Whitehall represented the considerable number of Pennsylvania farmers who favored local government and mistrusted the concentration of power in the state and federal governments. Today, many of his arguments still make sense to those who fear that the federal government - especially the president and judiciary - have usurped too much power from the American people. 71.184.184.238 (talk) 20:00, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Wow, that it a fringe point of view. I am quite sure that 99.99% of sources agree that George Mason and James Madison are considered to be the co-fathers of the Bill of Rights. the main writers were George Mason and James Madison. Each of them is known as The Father of the Bill of Rights. SaltyBoatr get wet 20:28, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm quite sure that 100% of sources agree that Madison OPPOSED a Bill of Rights!71.184.184.238 (talk) 20:49, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
While Madison originally felt that a bill of rights was unnecessary, he did alter his position and absolutely promoted them. Without his support it's not unthinkable to suggest it might never have passed. AliveFreeHappy (talk) 21:48, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
Not true! Madison only advanced a Bill or Rights because if he didn't his "love child" The Constitution was likely going to get a major overhaul at another Constitutional Convention.

The following is from "James Madison University" http://www.jmu.edu/madison/gpos225-madison2/madprobll.htm

New York, when it ratified the Constitution, had called for another constitutional convention, which was now clearly provided for in the Constitution. By drafting a Bill of Rights, Madison headed off that possibility. He stated quite openly: "I should be unwilling to see a door opened for a re-consideration of the whole structure of the government, for a re-consideration of the principles and the substance of the powers given; because I doubt, if such a door was opened, if we should be very likely to stop at that point which would be safe to the government itself."
It is clear that Madison truly thought that a bill of rights was not necessary except to mollify those who thought it was required, to preclude another constitutional convention and to encourage the final two states to ratify the Constitution. In later years, his letters revealed no great pride of authorship. In a letter of 1821 he referred to "those safe, if not necessary, and those politic, if not obligatory, amendments." In his speech to Congress the best he could say of a bill of rights was that it was "neither improper nor absolutely useless." This is, certainly, faint praise.71.184.184.238 (talk) 02:52, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
Regardless of why Madison eventually supported it, or any second thoughts he may have had later in life, Whitehill was not the father of the Bill of Rights. Even the source you cite says "it's not too much of an exaggeration" - implying that there is exaggeration in the statement.  –Joshua Scott [who?] 05:37, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
In The Bill of Rights and the states, page 329: "The Pennsylvania Minority [which includes Whitehill] did not, of course, bring the Bill of Rights into existence".  –Joshua Scott [who?] 05:46, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
It's "not too much of an exaggeration" is intended to show that Whitehill had considerable influence in the language of the Bill of Rights. A far cry from the quote by Wills reference by Salty, which states that Whitehill has practically no influence on that language. A glance at the 14 points listed above, shows reference to freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, trial by jury in disputed over property, speedy trial, the right to confront your accuser, excessive fines, cruel and unusual punishment, compelling of evidence, limitations on warrants for search and seizure, limitations on federal powers, and not least the right to keep and bear arms.
Not only does Wills say that Whitehill had no impact on the Bill of Rights language except for the Second, but that Madison was in TOTAL DISAGREEMENT with every other thing on Whitehill's list. From this we are to conclude that this one man, who could not even get a discussion of his points started in the convention, is explaining to us the meaning of the Second Amendment, drafted by Madison, who was in total disagreement with every other thing on Whitehill's list. Wills deserved the BOOBY PRIZE for that comment.71.184.184.238 (talk) 14:15, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
It appears you aren't reading the whole sentence of what Garry Wills wrote. He is speaking of the federal versus state sovereignty, and it is apparent that Wills is explaining that Whitehill represented an extreme fringe element which was advocating for even less federal control than that seen in the Militia clauses, (Article I, Section 8, Clauses 15 & 16) of Constitution and remarkably fringe even less control that it already possessed in the Article of Confederation! It was only a very small number of people in 1788-1789 that believed like Whitehill, that the Articles of Confederation were too federally strong. And, I grant your point that Madison and Whitehill might have agreed about "excess bail", but that is not what Garry Wills is speaking about here, neither is it relevant to the topic of this article. So stop your WP:BATTLE please. SaltyBoatr get wet 16:47, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
You quoted Wills as stating "From this we are to conclude that this one man, who could not even get a discussion of his points started in the convention, is explaining to us the meaning of the Second Amendment, drafted by Madison, who was in total disagreement with every other thing on Whitehill's list." Then you tried saying that he didn't say, now you say that he did say it, but was talking about something completely different. It's embarassing to find one of your favorite cites would make an excellent replacement for the village idiot, isn't it.71.184.184.238 (talk) 17:20, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
Pardon me for not following the copious amounts of argument on this page, but your comments are in violation of WP:BATTLE. You need to tone down the rhetoric and attacks.  –Joshua Scott [who?] 17:41, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
Life would be much simpler if people didn't keep changing their stories. 71.184.184.238 (talk) 18:29, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
What is the goal here? Proving a 'gotcha' on SaltyBoatr? As I said, read the Garry Wills quote in context[24], and you see he is speaking of this in context of a discussion on State sovereignty and not of "excess bail". Yes, I put an ellipsis in my initial quote that hide the 'state sovereignty' words in the sentence, (and provided a hotlink to read the full context if you were interested). You are wrong to call me a liar because I used an ellipsis, just read the full context. I granted you your point about "excess bail", see above. Yet you continue your WP:Battle. STOP. Can we start discussing what reliable sources say about this topic now? And no, Garry Wills is not a village idiot, if you disagree lets resolve it using WP:DR, versus name calling. SaltyBoatr get wet 20:55, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
The goal is to show that Wills is sometimes an UNRELIABLE source. and some advise. The more you change your story the less anyone trusts your word. This is now your FOURTH version of what that language by Wills means.71.184.184.238 (talk) 00:03, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Slave control in slave states

We have discussed this at length, see above, but there has been shown on this talk page more than six significant citations that discuss the hypothesis of that anti-federalists (like Patrick Henry) viewed that one purpose of the Second Amendment was to maintain the continuance of the tradition to maintain militia citizen slave patrols to protect against the risks of slave insurrection. Deletion of this short mention of this POV seems to plainly violate the policy that we include fair coverage of all significant POVs seen in reliable sourcing. SaltyBoatr get wet 17:54, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Your citations all lead to Carl Bogus and one quote from Patrick Henry. It is at best a minority opinion, both today and in the past.71.184.184.238 (talk) 22:19, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Self protection within the home

I have added self protection within the home to the listing of "purposes" of the Second Amendment. This may be a bit of a reach because it is presently unsourced. Though considering that the recent Heller ruling has established that this is a protected right, there must be some sourcing that it was one of the 1789 purposes. I am asking for help please in finding the sourcing in third party reliable sourcing. SaltyBoatr get wet 17:54, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Would that not imply that the right is conditional on the use being one of the "purposes" which would certainly be (incorrect) OR? Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 18:30, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
Self defense within the home implies that it is a limited right that can only be used inside ones home. Besides it is already covered by "facilitating the natural right of self defense". If the right defended a right to hunt, there would be no need to say the right to hunt wabbits, the right to hunt roadrunners, or the right to hunt coyotes. All are covered under the right to hunt. Similarly if the right to self defense is protected, there is no need to list, defense at home, defense in your yard, defense in your garage, defense on a public sidewalk, defense in your car, or defense in your place of business. All are covered.71.184.184.238 (talk) 22:36, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
The exact wording in Heller that has been important is the holding "for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home." So far at least, the "traditionally lawful purposes" tested in court, over eighty cases, the only purpose protected by the Second Amendment has been "self defense within the home". See this paper: Heller's Catch-22, 56 UCLA Law Review 1551 (2009)[25], that did an extensive study of the post-Heller cases, and the actual effect of Heller has indeed been only upon "self defense within the home". For our article to suggest otherwise, such as for a broader right of self defense outside the home (within a Post Office or other public place for instance), is wishful thinking and not based on the reality. SaltyBoatr get wet 14:28, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
"Such as" does not mean "only" - self defense is already covered by "facilitating the natural right of self defense"71.184.184.238 (talk) 14:40, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

INTRO: "protects each person's right"

The wording of Heller allows for limits on who the right protects, so saying "protects each person's right" as recently added to the introduction is simply incorrect. Heller specifically says that: "The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill." Unless felons and the mentally ill are not persons, the wording in the introduction is plainly false. SaltyBoatr get wet 14:28, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Proposed updating of last sentence of the lead

"Several significant U.S. Supreme Court decisions interpreting the Second Amendment were written between 1870 and 1940. The Court recently revisited the issue in 2008 and 2010" is obviously outdated. What do y'all think of: "Several significant U.S. Supreme Court decisions interpreting the Second Amendment were written between 1870 and 1940, and then in 2008 and 2010."  ? North8000 (talk) 11:20, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

The second paragraph of the intro (which I assume is what you are talking about), should reference Heller and McDonald and not 2008 and 2010. I think the Bar Association comment in the first paragraph of the intro would fit better if included in the second paragraph.71.184.184.238 (talk) 19:35, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Propose that the section -Meaning of "to keep and bear arms" - be cut down

In Heller the US Supreme Court stated that in the context of the Second Amendment the word "to bear" means nothing more then "to carry". All the He-said She-said in that section is now pretty much irrelevant and can be reduced to a couple of paragraphs - the same format as the section on the meaning of "well regulated"

From DC v Heller ->>> If "bear arms" means, as we think, simply the carrying of arms,

Even if the proposal is not accepted, I will be adding the above reference quote from Heller to that section. Frankly I am somewhat surprised it is not there already, since post Heller it is the most relevant piece of information in existence.

Problem with Oxford Dictionary Dictionary meaning -- The referenced meaning from the Oxford Dictionary is also wrong - Per Oxford online - the meaning of to "bear arms" is 1: to carry arms, and 2: wear or display a coat of arms. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/view/entry/m_en_us1225453#m_en_us1225453.047. The meaning in the article "to serve as a soldier" is not included in the online version and is therefore an "uncommon or rare usage".

I was able to look at a large Webster dictionary, Websters Third New International Dictionary, a 3 volume set totaling about 3,000 pages, each page measuring 9.5 by 13 inches. Like I said, a "large" dictionary. Per that dictionary the PRIMARY meaning of "to bear arms" is "to carry or possess arms", while the secondary meaning is "to serve as a soldier". 71.184.184.238 (talk) 13:24, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Actually, you should be looking at the Oxford English Dictionary, not the Oxford Dictionary. The reason for this is that the OED gives detailed historical coverage of the English language, and we are speaking of historical usages here, spanning back over many centuries. Modern dictionaries like the Websters Third New International Dictionary, do not give historical English coverage and instead dwell on modern useages. The Oxford English Dictionary is available at essentially every library, just ask your librarian for access. SaltyBoatr get wet 17:54, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
Let me expand on Websters "to carry or posses arms" meaning. It is immediately followed by - <the right of the people to keep and bear arms - U.S. Constitution>. BTW: I already cited a passage for you from The Canterbury Tales showing that the usage of the word in question meant "to carry" when those Tales were written. Here are a few others others http://www.archeryweb.com/archery/chaucer.htm - Let me know if the forester in question was going to wage war with his "horn" which he bore "on breast".

A yeoman had he, nor more servants, no, At that time, for he chose to travel so; And he was clad in coat and hood of green. A sheaf of peacock arrows bright and keen Under his belt he bore right carefully (Well could he keep his tackle yeomanly: His arrows had no draggled feathers low), And in his hand he bore a mighty bow. A cropped head had he and a sun-browned face. Of woodcraft knew he all the useful ways. Upon his arm he bore a bracer gay, And at one side a sword and buckler, yea, And at the other side a dagger bright, Well sheathed and sharp as spear point in the light; On breast a Christopher of silver sheen. He bore a horn in baldric all of green; A forester he truly was, I guess. 71.184.184.238 (talk) 22:17, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Since no one said yes, I will take that as a no!71.184.184.238 (talk) 23:53, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Introduction & reference to individual rights

I have removed the just added sentence from the introduction "The US Supreme has ruled that this right is an individual right, which cannot be restricted by federal, state or local governments." This seem wildly at odds with reality considering that a very large array of "longstanding prohibitions" are "presumptively lawful", so writing in the introduction "which cannot be restricted" seems wildly off-base. Restrictions have been ruled valid in federal courts these last two years. See [26] and [27]. SaltyBoatrgetwet 17:54, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Salty, you threw the baby out with the bathwater. You were right in taking out the "cannot be restricted...." but you also deleted "individual right" which should have stayed. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 18:23, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
I plan to put back in the "individual" part. A stub sentence, but supported and correct, and we have to start somewhere. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 18:32, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
Salty is good at removing the word individual, and bad at including it.71.184.184.238 (talk) 22:37, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
I merged the first sentence of the Introduction with the "stub sentence". Now the first sentence refers to "each person's" RKBA. Hopefully everyone will be happy with this change. SMP0328. (talk) 01:36, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
I am confused by SMP0328's and Schutpuppe's edit summaries. Unless I'm mistaken, they don't seem to match the edits done. But all's well that ends well which seems to be the case after Schutpuppe's edit.
"Right" is not POV, it is straight from the wording of the amendment which is the subject of this article, and that it is an individual right (although "individual right" is ambiguously brief) was clearly decided by the Supreme Court. North8000 (talk) 04:17, 19 July 2010 (UTC)North8000 (talk) 11:10, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
For the second time you deleted core, sourcable material without discussion. (the "individual right" sentence). Rather than being reverted, can you restore that deletion yourself? North8000 (talk) 14:33, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
This is also a POV balance issue. There remains to be seen in reliable sourcing that there is both a right of a firearm for traditionally lawful use such as self defense, plus there remains a right of the states to have militia free from federal infringement (which now has legal effect because Parker v. DC was affirmed I quote: "Despite the importance of the Second Amendment's civic purpose, however, the activities in protects are not limited to militia service"). Therefore both the militia viewpoint and the self defense within the home viewpoint are presently valid. Keeping the introduction vague is the simple way to maintain NPOV. Use of the term "Individual right" without first defining it as being limited to "traditional lawful" falsely implies that there is a broad individual right when plainly there is no such thing. It is a matter of POV perspective. Some see Heller as validating unlimited individual rights, other see Heller as validating longstanding prohibitions on guns. We must carefully and fairly respect both significant POV's. SaltyBoatr get wet 15:01, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Salty, good points, but that brief statement in the lead does not state or imply otherwise. It merely says that that whatever the 2nd Amendment right is, such applies to individuals.North8000 (talk) 15:28, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
The sentence I removed earlier certainly flatly stated incorrectly that there was a greater protection than reality, and it failed to convey that the civic purpose of militia service of the states still exists and is protected from infringement. What wording do you suggest? Perhaps: "The court has held that this right protects both the civic purpose of militia service plus traditionally lawful purposes such as self defense within the home for people who are not felons or mentally ill." That would be accurate, taking wording from the court documents, but hardly satisfactory because it is cumbersome. I suggest that we continue to do what we have done for years here, which is keep the introduction simple and sufficiently ambiguous to cover all the POVs. We can explain the detail of the various POVs inside the article. Also, a significant POV now is that under existing 2A law, "longstanding prohibitions" of guns are "presumptively lawful", and if we include a open ended statement about "individual rights" then for POV balance, I think that should be included in the introduction too. SaltyBoatr get wet 16:22, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Maybe you are right about keeping the lead short. But somewhere we have to let the major binding interpretations (Supreme Court decisions) regarding the 2A be covered as such. Putting them on the same level / covering them as just another POV is a POV distortion. I think that the content is already there in the Heller and McDonald sections, but lost as a "needle in the haystack" which is not right. We really ought to move forward on this.
I submit that there are two POV/OR things that you keep working to introduce. One is the juxtaposition of the "presumptively lawful" finding with the "individual right" finding. These are two different topics, each makes statements that are worded to be independent of each other, and to not conflict with or encroach on the other. The other is to keep leaving out the examples that the court gave in the "presumptively lawful" finding, which are brief and important. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 17:12, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Moving Heller and McDonald closer to the top would make them larger needles, but may cause other problems.71.184.184.238 (talk) 23:57, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Latest Flurry of Changes in the Lead

Why don't we all slow down here and build some consensus before editing contentions areas. Besides making this a painful mess (instead of just a difference of opinion) this would probably end up getting the article locked up again.

While it's only one example, Salty, I certainly don't agree with your last change to the lead. It implies things that were never said in the Heller decision, such as that the right is conditional on home defense, and that current laws are generally OK. These implications are unsourced and OR. Sincerely,North8000 (talk) 20:55, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Actually, that longstanding gun prohibitions are being found presumptively lawful is well sourced, have you read this paper[28] that analyzes the post-Heller court cases? Over eighty cases have been ruled upon in the last two years, and unanimously, these courts have ruled that gun control laws are constitutional under the 2A. With the one exception of the handgun gun ban in DC, no other gun control laws have been overturned on Second Amendment grounds. Objectively per excellent sourcing, the "BIG DEAL" coming from Heller measured in real world terms is that virtually all gun control laws are being "presumptively" deemed lawful by the courts. If we could set POV battles aside, this should be said loud and clear, but the compromise is to leave the introduction ambiguous. SaltyBoatr get wet 22:19, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
I just read/skimmed it, I don't think that it is what you said. It's one person's opinion/analysis on the Heller decision, and not a review or analysis of the post Heller court cases. And, since the 2nd Amendment was not confirmed as restricting State and Local laws, until a few weeks ago, how could cases about state and local laws laws prior to that be relevant to the current reality? North8000 (talk) 23:29, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

@North8000, There is not need to take my word for it then, counting up court rulings is not a matter of opinion, it is just simple counting. I appreciate that Professor Winkler's paper is long to read, so I am clip and pasting the relevant section of the paper (pages 15-17) where he counts the post-Heller court ruling. Just read it for yourself and you decide:

As many people predicted,68 Heller led to an avalanche of challenges to gun control laws. Every person charged with a gun crime saw Heller as a Get Out of Jail Free Card. By January 15, 2008, lower federal courts had decided over seventy-five different cases challenging gun control laws under the Second Amendment.69 The variety of laws challenged has been quite remarkable. There have been suits against laws banning possession by felons,70 drug addicts,71 illegal aliens,72 and individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors.73 Courts have confronted laws prohibiting particular types of weapons, including sawed-off shotguns74 and machine guns,75 in addition to weapons attachments.76

Defendants have challenged laws barring guns in school zones77 and post offices.78 Individuals charged with making illegal “straw” purchases—whereby someone eligible to purchase a firearm buys one for an ineligible person—have raised unsuccessful Second Amendment challenges,79 as have individuals who failed to obtain a license to carry a concealed weapon80 or who possessed an unregistered firearm.81 Courts have upheld penalty enhancements for commission of a crime while possessing a gun,82 bans on possession of ammunition,83 and the federal law giving the Attorney General broad discretion over gun importation.84 Remarkably, not one gun control law has been declared unconstitutional on the basis of the Second Amendment since Heller.

Exceptions: 75, Individual Right: 0.

One might imagine that, inspired by Heller’s originalist façade, at least some lower courts would have looked to the original understanding of the Second Amendment to decide the constitutionality of these laws. But the reality is altogether different. Nearly every case has been decided solely on the basis of the Laundry List. Rather than seriously grapple with these Second Amendment challenges, lower courts have simply referenced Heller’s admonition that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited and recited the exceptions that the opinion recognized.85 It is not terribly surprising that lower courts have been following the Supreme Court’s lead by upholding the very types of laws provided for by the Laundry List. In our hierarchical judiciary, lower courts are supposed to follow what the Supreme Court’s dictates. One might expect, however, that at least a few of the lower courts would have engaged in some substantive analysis about whether the exceptions are consistent with the underlying right to keep and bear arms. After all, the Laundry List is offered up in the Heller opinion without any reasoning or explanation. Moreover, none of the exceptions were formally at issue in Heller; they were not the subject of briefing by both sides or trial by interested adversaries. The Laundry List was, in a first-year law student’s favorite word, dicta.

In the upside down universe of Heller, the dicta are all that matters. Lower courts are also hewing closely to the Laundry List in cases challenging laws that have no clear relationship to the exceptions specified by the Heller majority. In other words, they aren’t hewing closely to the list at all. They are stretching it far and wide to capture every conceivable type of gun restriction. For example, in several cases lower courts have upheld the federal law that bars individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from possessing firearms.86 Without much substantive analysis, these lower courts have tended to simply analogize this law to the ban on felons. Of course, there is a big difference between felonies and misdemeanors—not least that gun bans applicable to domestic violence misdemeanor convicts, unlike felon bans, are not “longstanding prohibitions.” Whatever sound public policy reasons support the domestic abuser ban, the laws are a recent phenomenon. The federal law challenged in these cases was adopted in 1996,87 some twenty years after the District of Columbia adopted its insufficiently longstanding ban on handguns.

Before Heller, none of the numerous challenges to gun control laws raised in recent months would have had any hope of winning. Now, with a revolutionary ruling recognizing a renewed individual right to keep and bear arms, they still have no hope of winning. So far, the only real change from Heller is that gun owners have to pay higher legal fees to find out they lose.

-Footnotes-
68. See, e.g., Posner, supra note 33.
69. A comprehensive database of published and unpublished opinions relying on Heller is maintained by the author. Anyone can obtain the same information by running a simple Shepard’s search of Heller.
70. See, e.g., Holter v. United States, No. 2:08-CV-100, 2008 WL 5100846 (D. N.D. Dec. 1, 2008); United States v. Miller, No. CR 108-112, 2008 WL 5170440 (S.D. Ga. Dec. 9, 2008).
71. See, e.g., United States v. Yancey, No. 08-CR-103-BBC, 2008 WL 4534201 (W.D. Wis. Oct. 3, 2008).
72. See, e.g., United States v. Boffil-Rivera, No. 08-20437-CR-GRAHAM/TORRES, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84633 (S.D. Fla. Aug. 12, 2008).
73. See, e.g., United States v. Booker, 570 F. Supp. 2d 161 (D. Me. 2008).
74. See, e.g., United States v. Artez, 290 Fed. App’x 203, 208 (10th Cir. 2008).
75. See, e.g., United States v. Fincher, 538 F.3d 868, 873–74 (8th Cir. 2008); Hamblen v. United States, No. 3:08-1034, 2008 WL 5136586, at *3–4 (M.D. Tenn. Dec. 5, 2008).
76. See, e.g., United States v. Garnett, No. 05-CR-20002-3, 2008 WL 2796098, at *4 (E.D. Mich. July 18, 2008) (finding D.C. v. Heller does not “cast doubt on the constitutionality of federal regulations over . . . machineguns and silencers).
77. See, e.g., United States v. Walters, No. 2008-31, 2008 WL 2740398 (D. V.I. July 15, 2008).
78. See, e.g., United States v. Dorosan, No. 08-042, 2008 WL 2622996 (E.D. La. June 30, 2008).
79. See, e.g., United States v. Bledsoe, No. SA-08-CR-13(2)-XR, 2008 WL 3538717 (W.D. Tex. Aug. 8, 2008).
80. See, e.g., United States v. Hall, No. 2:08-00006, 2008 WL 3097558 (S.D. W. Va. Aug. 4, 2008).
81. See, e.g., United States v. Perkins, No. 4:08CR 3064, 2008 WL 4372821 (D. Neb. Sept. 23, 2008).
82. See, e.g., United States v. Heredia-Mendoza, No. CR08-5125BHS, 2008 WL 4951051 (W.D. Wash. Nov. 18, 2008).
83. See, e.g., District of Columbia v. Lewis, No. 2007 CDC 15745, 2008 WL 4961591 (D. D.C. Nov. 17, 2008).
84. See, e.g., Mullenix v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, No. 5:07-CV-154-D, 2008 WL 2620175, at *5 (E.D. N.C. July 2, 2008).
85. See, e.g., United States v. Luedtke, No. 08-CR-189, 2008 WL 4951139, at *1 (E.D. Wis. Nov. 18, 2008) (recognizing this pattern).
86. See, e.g., United States v. Booker, 570 F. Supp. 2d 161 (D. Me. 2008).
87. 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9) (2006).

This is not really a matter of "one person's opinion". The rulings in these post-Heller gun law court cases are simply public record, and are easy for anyone to count. The UCLA law review article counted 75 court casts as of January 2008, and there has been more than a hundred new cases since, with similar results. In a more recent study, current as of two months ago, this website keeps track independently of post-Heller gun law cases and has counted a total of 200 cases including the intervening year. They say Courts have almost uniformly rejected challenges to federal firearm laws based on Second Amendment challenges., see also[29] and [30]. The bottom line here is that this new "individual right" has not translated into anything in the courts other than a slight easing of the gun restrictions in Washington DC, and even that was contested by Dick Heller, it went to trial and he lost[31] in March of this year. Therefore if we are to be honest here, the important "real world" effect of Heller has been the validation of essentially every gun law. There is no reason to predict that the state gun law challenges will be different because they will be looking to the precedent established by these 200 court cases these last two years. And, the key words these courts are looking to, repeated hundreds of times now, are that "longstanding prohibitions" of guns are "presumptively lawful". SaltyBoatr get wet 02:49, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

So which of those 75 rulings hold that the Second Amendment is not an individual right?
--Hamitr (talk) 04:28, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Salty, the "Individual Right" finding is essentially that being in or not in a militia has no effect on 2A rights, whatever those rights may be. What do these court cases have to do with that? You keep trying to occlude covering of this point with out-of-topic stuff. This finding is very important, resolves a long-standing debate on this particular topic, and needs to be prominently covered.
If we WERE talking about the effect of Heller on state and local laws (which, at the moment, we aren't), any pre-McDonald cases regarding on state and local gun laws would tend to be irrelevant.
Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 10:58, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Well, maybe the conversation has drifted now, but it started as a discussion about government restriction of the individual right, as the wording I objected to asserted falsely that the right: "...cannot be restricted by federal, state or local governments." My point is that yes, since 2008 there is an individual right component recognized by the court. And, that right is limited by presumptively lawful longstanding prohibitions. Adding the word 'lawful' to the lead, hopefully that is an acceptable compromise. SaltyBoatr get wet
I agreed with you on "cannot be restricted by federal, state or local governments" and I think that that statement has been gone for a few days and is old news. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 13:37, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
If you agree with me, what is your opinion of this[32] recent revert. This edit warring is a problem. By the way, I agree with you that we need to control the "flurry" edits in article space by talking instead, but the problem persists. And, I suggest that an article page protect would be warranted once again if we cannot keep the discussion of edits on the talk page and out of the edit summaries. SaltyBoatr get wet 14:18, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Section break

Salty is good at minimizing (current intro) and bad mouthing (slave control) the Second.
The closest to a consensus intro is here from a few weeks ago. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution/Archive_29#Proposed_edit_to_Introduction. Salty will never go for it however. It has the word "individual" in it. Let me know what you think.71.184.184.238 (talk) 21:14, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
That's a big section with a lot of ideas in it. Which did you mean specifically? Maybe the first hing that we should decide is whether or not to cover this issue in the lead. Salty suggested not, which I said could be a good point, but then he went and put a lot of detail into the lead.
I tend to think keep the lead short, and then create a new section "Supreme Court Determinations" and put the key authoritative stuff there. Leave all of the details, dissenting opinions etc. in the court cases section.
But, guys, let's have some fun doing this. Disagree, but also mutually try to move this forward instead of an eternal slugfest , and hopefully in a friendly way. North8000 (talk) 21:49, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
It is unacceptable and just incorrect to say "individual rights" in the intro, without defining it as limited individual rights. This is because saying broadly "individual rights" doesn't fairly cover the various POVs seen. Honestly, keeping the introduction ambiguous seems easiest. But if we include "individual rights", we need to also include "longstanding prohibitions" are "presumtively lawful" and that not every individual has a right. SaltyBoatr get wet 22:05, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Salty,
  • You are misquoting what that sentence in the lead said, but let's not go there.
  • Keeping the lead short is cool, but that will just move this debate elsewhere.
  • I think that you are mis-paraphrasing and misinterpreting/misusing the wp: NPOV policy on alternative points of view. Essentially it just says that they should be covered and identified as such. One could even say the the ones now rendered obsolete or discredited by the recent Supreme court decision only need to be covered as such, per the "flat earth" example in the WP:NPOV policy. But either way, nowhere does it say that alternate viewpoints need to color or be included in every statement of the majority viewpoint, or (in this case) in every statement of the authoritative definition by the Supreme court. North8000 (talk) 00:40, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Finally, you keep throwing up the straw dog of implying that the "individual right" court determination statement is an assertion of particular individual rights or that they can't be restricted. This particular court determination is simply that whatever the right is, it is not conditional on service in a militia.
Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 00:40, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Noticed that Salty deleted the cite to the online Oxford dictionary

which doesn't match his POV bias, but which anyone can check, with a supposed quote from another Oxford dictionary which no one can check.

I also noticed he deleted the reference to Websters dictionary which I added over the past couple of days which also does not back his POV.

Looks like Salty is back to his obstructionist ways and a Salty against everyone else edit war is probably not far away.71.184.184.238 (talk) 02:06, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

I Checked a copy of the Mariam Webster Dictionary - a paperback printed in 1974. The first meaning of "bear" is "carry". There is no entry specifically for "bear arms" in this paperback dictionary. I think the meaning is conclusive - Of 3 dictionaries I have looked at, 3 say "Carry" is the primary meaning.71.184.184.238 (talk) 02:20, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Mariam Webster online matches the "large" Websters I checked - http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bear%20arms
The primary meaning is to carry, and the secondary to serve as a soldier - bear arms 1 : to carry or possess arms
2 : to serve as a soldier. Now 4 dictionaries checked. 71.184.184.238 (talk) 02:28, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Actually the passage you repeatedly delete is sourced to a book which talks about the Oxford English Dictionary. This is "reliable secondary sourcing" which you have deleted in your edit war. Your use of your research of modern dictionaries is problematic "primary research" which is intended to serve your purpose of "proving" that bear arms means carrying guns. SaltyBoatr get wet 14:22, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Spitzer cheated on his wife. It wouldn't surprise me to find he puts a different priority on a words meaning then the dictionary he quotes does. Regardless the two online dictionaries most widely used do not agree with Spitzer. You blather about primary sources has been answered before. Per wiki policies primary sources can be used. 71.184.184.238 (talk) 23:16, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Proposed New Section

I propose we develop a new section that outlines the currently broadly relevant Supreme Court determinations / findings in an un-occluded manner. This most-important stuff (THE binding interpretation) is currently lost (needle in a haystack) in the current court section, and there is some question about trying to put this into the lead. Here's a start on the big items:

I propose that people feel free to edit the following section to develop this:

- - - Beginning of Editable Section - - -

Overall Title: Influential U.S. Supreme Court Interpretations

District of Columbia v. Heller

District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. ___ (2008) was a landmark case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects an individual's right to possess a firearm for private use within the home in federal enclaves. The decision did not address the question of whether the Second Amendment extends beyond federal enclaves to the states. It was the first Supreme Court case in United States history to decide whether the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms, i.e. irrespective of service or non-service in a militia.

On June 26, 2008, the Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Parker v. District of Columbia. The Court of Appeals had struck down provisions of the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975 as unconstitutional, determined that handguns are "arms" for the purposes of the Second Amendment, found that the District of Columbia's regulations act was an unconstitutional banning, and struck down the portion of the regulations act that requires all firearms including rifles and shotguns be kept "unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger lock." "Prior to this decision the Firearms Control Regulation Act of 1975 also restricted residents from owning handguns except for those registered prior to 1975."

To clarify that its ruling does not invalidate a broad range of existing firearm laws, the majority opinion, written by Justice Scalia, said: "Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms."North8000 (talk) 11:06, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

McDonald v. Chicago

McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. ___ (2010), was a landmark decision of the Supreme Court of the United States on the issue of gun rights. The Court held that the right of an individual to "keep and bear arms" protected by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and applies to the states. The decision cleared up the uncertainty left in the wake of District of Columbia v. Heller as to the scope of gun rights in regard to the states.

- - - End of Editable Section - - -

To 71.184.184.238, I hope you don't mind / my apologies if you do, that I moved the following out from under the "certain right...." section above. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 14:05, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

The "worthy of the mad hatter" comment in Heller should be included to show that per the Supreme Court the collective rights theory is dead! dead! dead!71.184.184.238 (talk) 13:17, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

North8000 (talk) 11:58, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Ok with me!71.184.184.238 (talk) 15:06, 20 July 2010 (UTC)


Comment I am not sure that this is really a new section considering that for a long time now the article has has sections devoted to both of these court cases[33][34]. I actually agree strongly that the is room for improvement to rewrite these two sections to give a greater attention to the holding, or as North8000 calls it: "the binding interpretation". Regardless, we should respect the WP:SS guidelines for how to do this, with a summary of the topic presented here, and the detailed coverage in the articles dedicated to both these court cases. SaltyBoatr get wet 19:29, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Either way, maybe we can develop the verbiage above. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 20:31, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I guess my "either way" idea isn't totally valid, as a revision of the current section would be lengthier that a "gist of the findings" section. And my main concern that the main findings would remain the current "needle in a haystack remains". How about we develop just the core findings, and then use that as a basis for whatever comes next. North8000 (talk) 21:37, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I have inserted the summaries from the two articles, which are pretty well written and serve just fine as concise overviews. SaltyBoatr get wet 22:07, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Nice start! I was thinking that the 3-4 "presumptively lawful" sentences directly from the decision (INCLUDING THE EXAMPLES THE COURT GAVE) would be a key addition. I know that you want that in there (less the examples)  :-) Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 23:39, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Heller wording above implies that guns are only legal inside the home. A solid NO from me on that wording!71.184.184.238 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 23:43, 20 July 2010 (UTC).
I wasn't talking about that. Maybe I used the wrong term. I was referring to the section where it said that the decision was not intended to void certain clearly good laws such as prohibiting insane people from having guns. North8000 (talk) 00:09, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Meaning of "well regulated militia", the Standard Model

Hoping to avoid an edit war in article space, this needs discussion on the talk page. Twice now[35][36], Hamitr has deleted the passage discussing the context of modern militia movements relative to the 18th Century meaning of "well regulated militia". First, please lets work this out using reason on the talk page, and not edit war sans discussion. And, reasoning via the edit summary is no substitution for talk page discussion.

The edit summary reasoning given by Hamitr is "this statement amounts to WP:SYN when included here since it has nothing to do with the 2nd amendment; add it to the militia movement article instead" and "rm statement that has nothing to do with the meaning of "well regulated militia" in the amendment; it could go in the militia movement page, though". Assuming this was the case, I am reinserting the paragraph with fixed footnoting.

This confusion might have been caused by munging of the footnotes done by Andy85719 in June 2010. In any case, the sourcing of the paragraph is from seminal article[37] by Garry Wills which discusses a significant point of view[38] concerning the "standard model" viewpoint of the Second Amendment. In no way is this source off topic for this article.

This raises a greater question about article structure, which is how to deal with the issue of the "standard model" of the 2A which dates from 1989-present. Unfortunately, there is bias in the article now where this modern viewpoint is painted as "the true" viewpoint. We are required by NPOV policy to treat viewpoints neutrally, so we should be fixing this bias problem.

There was a point in time prior to the re-write following Heller that the article contained coverage of the "standard model" theory, but that got hastily deleted out. Considering that the Standard model thesis is the elephant in the room concerning the modern interpretation of the 2A, and that it serves as the political and judicial underpinnings of the movement that lead to Heller we should be giving this important 2A topic coverage in this article. SaltyBoatr get wet 21:15, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

The Supreme Court used the accepted meaning of well-regulated in Heller, by stating that well regulated means nothing more then well trained.71.184.184.238 (talk) 23:18, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
If you are looking for the viewpoint of the Founders then you either discover their opinion or the opinions of those close to their time period. This language from Nunn v Georgia will point you in the right direction

Nor is the right involved in this discussion less comprehensive or valuable: "The right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed." The right of the whole people, old and young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear arms of every description, not such merely as are used by the militia, shall not be infringed, curtailed, or broken in upon, in the smallest degree; and all this for the important end to be attained: the rearing up and qualifying a well-regulated militia, so vitally necessary to the security of a free State. Our opinion is, that any law, State or Federal, is repugnant to the Constitution, and void, which contravenes this right, originally belonging to our forefathers, trampled under foot by Charles I. and his two wicked sons and successors, reestablished by the revolution of 1688, conveyed to this land of liberty by the colonists, and finally incorporated conspicuously in our own Magna Charta!

The preamble which was prefixed to these amendments shows, that they originated in the fear that the powers of the general government were not sufficiently limited. Several of the States in their act of ratification recommended that further restrictive clauses should be added...But...does it follow that because the people refused to delegate to the general government the power to take from them the right to keep and bear arms, that they designed to rest it in State governments? Is it not an inalienable right, which lies at the bottom of every free government? We do not believe that, because the people withheld this arbitrary power of disfranchisement from Congress, they ever intended to confer it on the local legislatures. This right is too dear to be confided to a republican legislature.71.184.184.238 (talk) 23:39, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Requested move

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page not moved. Arbitrarily0 (talk) 21:39, 21 July 2010 (UTC)


Second Amendment to the United States ConstitutionSecond Amendment — The US 2nd amendment is clearly the prime topic with more than 20,000 views vs. about 150 for all other 2nd amendments in total([39]). Instead of moving, Second Amendment could also be made into a redirect. Schuhpuppe (talk) 12:51, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

  • Support. I'm a little wary of promulgating systemic bias here, but the pageview disparity is compelling. Powers T 13:18, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment: I'd be interested to hear Australian, Irish and South African perspectives before !voting (per LtPowers), but my initial thought is that the US Second Amendment is most likely the primary topic. TFOWR 13:25, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The primary topic issue only arises once you make up your mind that there is a need to shorten the title of the article, which IMO would be arbitrary and inconsistent with comparable articles. Also, avoiding systematic bias should be a more important concern (and, where sytematic bias is an issue, it does not seem sensible to base a decision solely on page visits). --FormerIP (talk) 13:44, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
To illustrate the systematic bias issue, the argument put by Schuhpuppe could almost certainly apply to all consitutional amendements (14th amendment, mentioned above: 18,503 v 76 for Ireland and 0 for poor old Pakistan). Although I don't have time to look for an example, it is also probable that there will be general topic articles such of the type "Phenomenon X in the United States" which, under this logic, would be re-named "Phenomenon X", with articles relating to other countries relegated to a disambiguation page. Not sure what we would do about the article French Kissin' in the USA under that circumstance, though (edited to add: if you click on the link, you'll see that soemone's ahead of us...). --FormerIP (talk) 16:26, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Not sure Wikipedia has a major problem with USA centric systemic bias, and that could hardly be more apparent that with the topic of bearing arms. The global perspective is much different than the USA perspective, and the USA perspective dominates Wikipedia. (Witness that the article about the global article about bearing arms is named with the USA centric title "keep and..." even though the term "keep and bear" is only applicable in the USA. The proposed page move would make that systemic bias even more obvious. SaltyBoatr get wet 14:49, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Partly support We should keep the original title to be consistent with other articles. However the page Second amendment should become a redirect to this page and its contents moved to a disambiguation page. While I am opposed to a USA centric view, the American constitution is the world's most important written constitution and its amendments are far more notable than those of other countries. The second amendment to the Australian constitution for example is more likely to be called the Constitution Alteration (State Debts) Act, 1909, and there are no articles for the second amendments of most countries' constitutions. TFD (talk) 16:19, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Sorry TFD, but I just wanted to note that this phrase made me laugh out loud: "While I am opposed to a USA centric view, the American constitution is the world's most important written constitution". It may be a true statement, but my diaphragm never lies. --FormerIP (talk) 16:28, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
The importance of a constitution is not based on the population of its country, but in its significance in constitutional studies. the U. S. contsitution is notable for the several reasons. It was the first written constitution and one of the few that actually created a new nation. There is a body of literature surrounding its creation by notable 18th century thinkers. It has provided a model for most if not all other written constitutions, including presidential systems but also parliamentiary democracies including India and other members of the Commonwealth, and even Communist countries. India copied judicial review from the U. S., while Australia copied "full faith and credit" and the same division of responsibility between states and federal government. In fact much modern terminology comes from the U. S, constitution: the president, senate, congress, supreme court, state for example. TFD (talk) 19:44, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
I know that many, if not all of the original 13 colonies wrote up constitutions predating the US Constitution. A number of those original constitutions are still in force. For instance the one from Massachusetts continues to state that Massachusetts is a "free, sovereign, and independent state". Regardless of the importance of the US Constitution, the Second Amendment should follow the naming convention of the other Constitutional Amendment articles.71.184.184.238 (talk) 20:43, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Without wanting to get into mud-slinging, the contest for the title of "oldest surviving constitution" is a toss-up between the Bill of Rights, the constitution of San Marino and the Magna Carta. Which wins depends on your definition of "oldest", "surviving" and "constitution". In this particular race, the US constitution is a non-runner. 81.110.111.164 (talk) 23:39, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
One commentator states that "the American constitution is the world's most important written constitution". I would just point out that India (to take one example) has over a billion inhabitants and a very powerful supreme court. The Indian constitution has a whole lot of amendments with the same names as the American ones. Countries like India just don't have much impact on Google results, for obvious reasons. - Hibernian1 —Preceding undated comment added 18:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC).
I took that to mean that the US constitution influenced many/most constitutions that followed it, i.e. it's historically important. TFOWR 20:49, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose Is conceit too strong a word? Navel-gazing? Is lacking clarity a good direction? The principle of Wikipedia is to be an encyclopedia, and the phrase Second amendment means (wait for it) second amendment, anything else is plainly wrong in research terms, or grammatical terms. I believe that the existing disambiguation page is appropriate. Some of the argument above is clearly not thought through, if that argument is to be followed, we will be moving Constitution next. billinghurst sDrewth 07:53, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
    • Actually, no, because Constitution is not a disambiguation page (it already has a primary topic). Powers T 12:08, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Support, U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!. Marcus Qwertyus (signs his posts) 17:02, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose If you are going to do this then all the other amendments should be done - but that will clash with constitutional amendments from many other countries. Wikipedia is supposed to give a World Wide View, this would make is just too USA biased.  Ronhjones  (Talk) 22:46, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose, out of respect for the United States Constitution, a document worth naming in the title of an article on one of its components. I equally oppose redirecting Second Amendment (or Second amendment) here, which would amount to the same thing. Let the ambiguous unadorned term disambiguate. bd2412 T 03:20, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This is the English Wikipedia, not the US Wikipedia. The majority of people in the world who can read English are not US citizens. There are many notable documents with at least two amendments. Article titles should be sufficiently descriptive; "Second Amendment" is not, and should remain a disambiguation page. ~Amatulić (talk) 04:00, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose - The tite as it currently stands is correct. Anytime you have an amendment it has to amend some other document. So the title should be Second Amendment to ___________. In this case the blank is the United States Consitution. Without that part of the title it is an ambiguous title. ~~ GB fan ~~ talk 04:46, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
    • By policy, ambiguous titles are okay if they point to the primary topic for that title. Powers T 12:19, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Explanation of the POV tag

I have added the POV tag to the article in light of the edit warring over the wording of the introduction. Most recently[40] and [41], with the edit summary saying that there is a "right to revolt". This article needs to include a fair coverage of all the points of view seen. Certainly, the Insurrectionist point of view is one point of view, but it is not the only point of view. The whole article, but especially the introduction, needs to treat Insurrection-ism as point of view, not as an established "truth". Rather than edit warring this, it is wise at this point to add the POV tag to encourage other editors to see the talk page to work out this problem. SaltyBoatr get wet 22:34, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Salty, I think that you are trying to caricature your opposition; "insurrection" was mentioned in an edit summary only as an example where the 2nd is not limited to "lawful"....e.g. where the laws/government are in conflict with the constitution. I also had trouble with your wording and was going to give a different example ( e.g. where the constitution would cause laws to be overturned rather than followed) but the other person beat me to it with their example.North8000 (talk) 23:34, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Lawful is POV. The Second enables self defense against usurpers. Usurpers would by definition call any resistance to their takeover of power "unlawful". See quote from Justice Story below. Especially "since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them."

The orthodox view of the meaning of the Second Amendment was articulated by Joseph Story in his influential Commentaries on the Constitution. In his view the meaning of the Amendment was clear:

The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted by any persons, who have duly reflected upon the subject. The militia is the natural defence of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers. It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time of peace, both from the enormous expenses, with which they are attended, and the facile means, which they afford to ambitious and unprincipled rulers, to subvert the government, or trample upon the rights of the people. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them. And yet, though this truth would seem so clear, and the importance of a well regulated militia would seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised, that among the American people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition, from a sense of its burthens, to be rid of all regulations. How it is practicable to keep the people duly armed without some organization, it is difficult to see. There is certainly no small danger, that indifference may lead to disgust, and disgust to contempt; and thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by this clause of our national bill of rights.71.184.184.238 (talk) 23:25, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

SaltyBoatr again added a POV tag. This time, I was the one to remove it. SaltyBoatr seems to want to add a Scarlet Letter to this article. All editors should be on the lookout for future attempts to restore the POV tag. SMP0328. (talk) 01:05, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

It would be more helpful if we were to discuss the issue rather than impugning my intent. Based on the balance of reliable sourcing seen, the neutral point of view on this topic is for lawful bearing arms. Certainly, one point of view favors insurrectionary use, but that is not the main point of view seen. SaltyBoatr get wet 01:15, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Salty, again, I think that you are mis-characterizing and trying to caricature your opposition with that "insurrection" tangent. To the best of my knowledge, "Insurrection" was mentioned only in an EDIT SUMMARY and only as an example where the 2nd is not limited to "lawful"....e.g. cases where the laws/government are in conflict with the constitution. I also had trouble with your wording and was going to give a different example ( e.g. where the constitution would cause laws to be overturned rather than followed) Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 03:53, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't think that a POV tag is appropriate North8000 (talk) 15:25, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
A less extreme example of unlawfull defense is this one http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2010/05/would-be-burglar-shot-to-death-by-west-side-resident.html
Why was it unlawfull? Because the 80 year old who shot the intruder used and unregistered firearm.198.105.0.4 (talk) 17:09, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
@North8000. You say the POV tag is not appropriate. I say it is appropriate. We dispute. Do you dispute that we dispute? The text of the tag says "The neutrality of this article is disputed. Please see the discussion on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved.". Which part of that tag message is incorrect? Are we in an ironic situation where we dispute that we dispute? SaltyBoatr get wet 17:17, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Salty as long as your discredited militia based theory does not get top billing YOU will always have a dispute. Let me yet again repeat that the Supreme Court has not only rejected the militia based theory but has labeled it "worthy of the mad hatter". "Crazy talk" doesn't deserve much space in a wiki article.71.184.184.238 (talk) 22:56, 21 July 2010 (UTC)