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Reader DrVino writes:

Self defense is a human right. And now marriage is a human right. Why is marriage not mentioned in the constitution? If we argue that it was understood (and didn’t need to be affirmed in a legal document) that people want to and have a right to get married, why was the right to guns enshrined in the Bill of Rights? After all, it was understood that people needed to put meat on the table and defend themselves from attackers. If procurement of food and marrying are rights that “go without saying”, could it be argued, then, that the only reason we have the 2A is not for the purpose of hunting or personal protection, but as a defense against tyranny from an abusive centralized government?

84 Responses to Question of the Day: Why Were Guns Enshrined in the Bill of Rights?

  1. Answer: Guns weren’t enshrined in the Bill of Rights. It is more accurate (and frequently forgotten) that the right to bear ALL arms was the natural law that was enshrined into the Constitution. Sometimes we forget this also included swords, knives, bows, crossbows, and the like.

    • It also covers future weapons that have not even been developed. George Washington brought his own personal colichemarde to battles. The reason to have that sword is to stab and/or hack another human being w/ it. It was not locked up in a national guard armory only to come out when a bureaucrat deemed it ok.

    • I think the original question shows a misunderstanding of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights that is all too common in this country.

      The Bill of Rights is not an enumeration of specific rights granted to the people, any more than the Constitution is a blank check for government power.

      The Constitution clearly states that congress has specifically enumerated powers and no others, that the president a few enumerated powers generally related to law enforcement and foreign relations, and the judiciary has the power to judge that enforcement. To the authors of the Constitution (like anyone else with basic literacy and a copy of the Constitution), it was obvious that government had no right to interfere in any other area.

      At the ratification sessions, many of the people asked what happens if the government tries to reinterpret those enumerated powers (smart people!). The response was to list the the things that it was important to make sure government never did (because it would quickly lead to tyranny), like restrict the press or private weapons, or search and seize property without proper legal justification.

      But then, to ensure that nobody would intentionally misinterpret their list to mean these were the only restrictions on government, they included the ninth amendment, which states that enumerating rights does not limit the existing rights to those listed, and the tenth amendment, which says the opposite for government: the listed powers are the only ones it has, and those powers not explicitly granted to the government belong to the states and the people.

      So yes, people have a right to marry as they see fit (with marry in this instance being a legal agreement of union). But they have no more right to force someone to recognize their marriage if it violates his religious beliefs, than he has to prevent them from marrying, because it violates his religious beliefs.

      But to answer the question:
      The right to keep and bear arms, along with the freedoms of speech, the press, protest (amendment 1), and legal protections involving investigations and prosecutions (amendments 4-8), were so important that they explicitly listed them. They left any other thing you can think of (e.g. buying property, building a fence, marrying your choice of person, moving to a new state, …) to the ninth amendment.

      • The Ninth is not some infinite wild card, automatically encompassing and codifying everything conceivable as a constitutional right.

        As argued and practiced, the “right to gay marriage” is the right to subject others to myriad current and future, known, unknown, and unknowable, obligations.

        Even if the Ninth contemplated a right to gay marriage, that “right” in 2015 practical and legal terms represents an individual’s power to impose upon others, a power that would not fit the Founders’ and the Framers’ definition a right.

        • Why is it not? Obviously anything that breaks the nonaggression principle wouldn’t be a right (e.g. the “right” to murder, rape, assault, steal, or trespass). But anything else would be.

          At the time, their idea of the right to own property didn’t apply to women, but we assume it does now, because we have more respect for the rights of others than they did…at least in that aspect, not so much for the ones actually enumerated in the Bill of Rights.

        • If I decline to bake a cake for your event, when doing so would violate my religious faith, you go get the government to fine me and mandate that I serve you.

          You’re forcing me to violate my religious beliefs. You’re extracting my property via fines. None of this is voluntary, but forced; backed by armed agents of the state. Sounds mighty aggressive to me and not at all a peaceful exercise of your own rights.

          Are you aware that there are people out there actually hunting Christian businesses. They’re seeking them out not in good faith to do business, but for the specific purpose of setting them up to decline to do business. Then they sic the government on them.

          They’re using their newfound, so-called right not as a shield to exercise their right in peace, but as a sword to seek out and destroy someone else’s rights.

      • What the court, and some commenters fail to do, is to recognize that there are two components to what many call “Traditional Marriage”. There is the ’emotional, love, and commitment’ component and then there is the ‘legal, intermingling and sharing of property’ component. Neither of these should generally be of concern to any government. However, the comingling of property can become a concern of the state when called on to adjudicate disagreements between partners. It is for this reason that a “contract” is a good idea. While the property issue is the only area where government might legitimately become involved, the emotional, love, and commitment component, and its related proclamation and recognition must be left to social, spiritual, or religious organization, or between individuals and the community with which they associate. Other than that, the state has no authority to approve or disapprove of any “marriage” declared between consenting adults.

    • The Framers had experience with centralized government power trying to take away weapons, but there was no particular fear about a government failing to recognize fake marriages as actual marriages. Hence, no marriage amendment in the Bill of Rights.

    • The Second Amendment should also allow for the private ownership of fully functioning tanks, howitzers, and American Made Fighter Jets.

  2. Silly gun owners; everyone knows that it applied to only the National Guard and is to help keep wonderful god like politicians such as our Dear Leader from suffering the ignorant plight of the serfs. Yes, he truly is the Son Of Heaven! Truly he is the Son Of Something.

  3. Bearing Arms was the answer to the tyranny so recently overthrown and while the Founders saw clear need for a real central government to replace the previous Confederation, they also feared the potential abuse of power such a central government might undertake. Clearly they have been proven right!

    • And it is for this reason that the statists, who wish to be our masters, consistently state it was for hunting and no one needs more than X rounds or implements of war. they vilify the 2nd amendment in schools as they play the long game of trying to remove any threat to their power.

      The problem is that they are winning that long game. And they know it.

  4. to proactively protect arms from government confiscation.

    Unless whatever entity that presumes authority to interpret said document, interprets it to suit the political climate and “popular” opinion. Then it could be argued that the document really doesn’t mean anything at all.

    It must defended by the citizenry, these documents were intended to limit what the government could govern, and by allowing “interpretations” of the document, we degrade its foundation, and with it, our country.

    • Given that the Revolutionary War began with an attempt at government confiscation, yes.

      And in that light, “shall not be infringed” definitely means, at a minimum, that no law which could lend aid to confiscation is legitimate.

    • “to proactively protect arms from government confiscation. ”

      Gov’t = People
      People = Your a-hole neighbors who need jobs
      Your a-hole neighbors who need jobs = What you better not let f us up, or it’s on you.

  5. I believe it is a given that we have a right to posses any personal item we choose — including firearms, knives, clubs, swords, and whatever else we want to carry on our person.

    I also believe that our nation’s Founders included the Second Amendment as a bulwark against ambition that inevitably rears its ugly head in any country. And this was no accident. The Founders were extremely intelligent people who studied both history and human nature. They knew that government entities would some day want to disarm the good people of our nation for personal gain. Recent history has proven them correct.

  6. “And now marriage is a human right.” NO IT IS NOT

    SCOTUS DOES NOT ISSUE RIGHTS, BILL OF RIGHTS IS PART OF THE CONSTITUTION, AMENDED OTHERWISE.

    • Marriage most certainly is a human right. What that phrase has wrong is the “now”: a right is a right; rights do not come into being or come to an end, they just are, by virtue of our existence as self-owning beings. SCOTUS certainly doesn’t make rights, but neither does the Constitution; they can at best recognize our rights and at worst penalize them.

      • I’m sticking with my answer. Marriage is indeed prescribed by GOD (He Who IS, whose Son is named Jesus, and whose Spirit is called “Holy”). But marriage is not a right. It is a promise between two people to each other and to the world. It is not defensible (even in U.S. courts) as a matter where an injured party can sue for specific performance to another (the other) party to a marriage that wishes to break the promise.

        Further, Society is supported, and thereby supports marriage (the pairing), or it does not. It does not exist otherwise except by daily conflict and possible armed struggle. [loosely paraphrased: TERMS, J.M. Thomas R., 2012,]

        • Not everyone is a Bible thumping evangelist like you Joe. Are you telling us that only Christians who believe in your God and your vision of Jesus are allowed to marry? That Christianity is the only true religion? Well, you have a right to believe that, but it makes you a hypocrite. Why would you rave against those who would take away your Second Amendment rights while in the same breath try to take away others rights to freedom of religion under the First Amendment?

          And in any event, you are dead bang wrong. Marriage may be recognized in religious ceremonies, but in the United States, as in other countries, marriage is a civil (legal) union, not a religious one; the state has a fundamental public interest in marriage, ownership of property, dissolution on death or divorce, and the protection of children. Marriage is only recognized in most states (with some exceptions like common law marriage in some, but not all, states) if t a license was obtained and the ceremony performed by an agent of the state authorized by law to perform the service. The Supreme Court did NOT say that there was some fundamental “right” to marriage, what it said that, in the context of the civil union in law called “marriage,” there is a fundamental right guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to equal protection and due process of law.

          Just as people who don’t like guns can keep their grubby paws off my Second Amendment rights, hypocrites like you who do not believe in liberty can keep your bigoted and inherently racist beliefs off the 14th Amendment rights of everyone else.

          By the way, I am straight, married (for many years) with children, and I could care less about your religious conviction, or what gays do in the privacy of their own abodes. And I have no qualms whatsoever according gays the right to a civil union and the rights and remedies such unions provide. It is not a religious question, it isn’t a moral question. In many ways, it is just a contract question. Contracts are gender, race, and religious blind. If you don’t want to marry your boyfriend, fine, whatever, but if you do, you should be treated the same as any other couple that so chooses. In fact, if you want to have multiple spouses (good luck with that), I couldn’t care less about that either. All I care about is that the union is treated the same way under the law as any other union, for good and substantial reasons.

        • Mark N. – Why are you so full of vitriol towards Joe? You repeatedly engaged in unprovoked name calling (calling Joe a (1) hypocrite (2) racist (3) grubby (4) bigoted (5) saying he wishes to deny religious liberty to others (6) Bible thumper). He may or may not be those things, but his remarks do not in themselves justify your verbal assault.

          For example, where the hell did you get “Racism” in Joe’s remarks? Does it make you feel better to go on a tirade against those who view the world differently than you? Can you not engage in civil dialogue with those having a different opinion?

          That is the way big government progressives usually operate. I’m not saying you are one, but you should examine yourself to see if it might be true.

        • For the non-religious folks out there, you can tune out from the following comments if you like. You are free to believe what you wish about the fundamental nature of reality. That is one of the great things about this country. We are all free to believe what we will, and we generally get along reasonably well in spite of that fact.

          The thing we share in common here at TTAG is that we love guns.

          Joe – From a Biblical worldview, I think it is entirely appropriate to say that marriage is indeed a fundamental human right. Marriage exists as a fundamental reality of creation, and governments merely recognize marriage (and sometimes fail to). Thus, the government acted wrongly when it prohibited marriage between members of different races.

          God created man, male and female, He created them. The two shall be one flesh. It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him. (Paraphrases of Genesis account wording)

          The question is: “What is marriage?” The Bible responds with something like “the one flesh union of a man and woman”. That was even the case with the polygamous marriages in the Bible. The one man entered into separate covenants with each of his wives (the wives were not married to each other).

          Now, the State wishes to call something “marriage”, that the Bible does not call “marriage”. A declaration by the State does not alter fundamental reality. Calling Bruce “Caitlyn” does not change the scientific/biological fact that Bruce is simply a mutilated man. That Y-chromosome is still present in every single cell of his body.

        • Why such vitriol? If the shoe fits…Joe hates gays and does not think that they should be accorded the same rights as heterosexuals. He said so. That is bigotry and hypocrisy by suggesting that constitutional rights apply to only “special” people who fall within the confines of his Christian ethic. He ignores the First Amendment, and believes that his (obviously Christian) religious precepts of what constitutes “marriage” must be given the force of civil law. Which of course leaves out most f the wold’s population that does not believe in Christ as a personal savior and a reflection of the “one true god.” Pardon me while I heave. This fundamentalist rigidity to me smacks of the same hypocritical stench of the zealots that would impose Sharia. I chose not to live under anyone else’s conception of religious law and dogma. And so, it would seem, did out founding fathers who fled European religious intolerance. Religion has nothing to do with the issue of “gay marriage,” which is a question of civil law and equal treatment under the law, a guaranteed fundamental Constitutional right.

    • I think it’s very fair to say that our founding fathers would not have ever anticipated that public opinion in our country would ever evolve to a point at which homosexual marriage would be even considered as a matter for endorsement of the Supreme Court of the land.

      • So? They didn’t have the 14th Amendment either, and at the time, marriage was a purely religious ceremony on the east coast (although the French and the Louisiana Territory applied (still do in fact) a civil union rule–marriage is a contract defined by law, not religious precept.) Further, the Founders were concerned about the creation of a State and the relationship between the State and the People, not relations between people. But when marriage became a uniformly civil matter, the right of the people to equal treatment became an issue.

        • Are all other matters which are arguably civil matters similarly within the purview of the Equal Protection Clause? What is the limit, if any?

        • This is a good point Mark. The whole concept of “marriage license” is a fairly recent phenomenon. Keep in mind that a “license” allows someone to do something “bad” that they normally would not be allowed to do otherwise. Remember that the word “license” itself means “sin” or “evil” or something like that.

          The “concealed carry license” thus allows someone to carry a concealed gun, when it would not be permitted otherwise. (By the way I favor Constitutional Carry for firearms – open, concealed, homosexual, heterosexual, Buddhist, atheist, whatever)

          When you look at the history of “marriage licenses” in America, you see a lot of racism. Early on, “licenses” were only required for interracial marriages, not for marriages between members of the same race. It wasn’t until the 1930’s that marriage licenses were generally required.

          Somehow, we’ve gotten to the point where we have allowed the government to control nearly every aspect of our lives. You need a “license” to operate a business. You need a license to sell cookies out of your kitchen. You need a license to cut people’s hair.

          Marriage is a complicated thing. In one sense, it is an agreement between two people. In another sense, it is a religious institution. In another sense it is a legal contract before the government. In another sense, it is a social institution.

          Then, we further complicate things in that the government does not actually treat marriage like it treats other contracts. We have the concept of “no-fault divorce”. We don’t have that for other contracts in our society. If you break normal contracts, then you are at fault and are treated accordingly.

          It is kind of like our medical system. It is messed up. We do not have a capitalistic medical system, and we do not have a socialistic medical system. We have a horrible hybrid of the two. We would likely be better of with either one or the other.

      • I wonder what they would’ve thought about miscegenation, too. Of course, the Constitution labeled those who were not “free men” or “untaxed Indians” only counted as 3/5 of a person.

        • Oh there goes that 3/5 person clause again…

          Technically, slaves were not considered a whole person, let alone 3/5s person, they were considered “property”. The 3/5s was only put into place as a compromise regarding the issue of whether or not a slave should be counted toward state representation numbers in the Federal Congress. It was a political numbers game, it has nothing to do whether or not a black slave (or white indentured servant) received any legal protection under the laws like their freed counterparts.

  7. This will sound contrarian, a lot of the focus in the 2A defense is proving the legality and intent. That side of the table pretty much takes care of itself, as it only can be upturned by distorting truth. I don’t know what a more appropriate counter would be, but it seems like a PR attack on those that are attacking the 2nd amendment would be more effective, I don’t know the angle necessarily, but they certainly don’t let facts get in the way of their advance. Putting them on their heels by not just defeating their ploys by proving the legality and intent of the law, but exposing them for the scammer they are, taking the perceived moral high ground away certainly would be welcome.

  8. Read the decisions in Heller and McDonald both at the appellate and SCOTUS levels. (and the amici curia briefs they reference).

    The constitution included 2A to ensure the right the people had held under British rule to keep and bear arms against government tyranny (well, protestants had that right, not catholics or jews..) as well as for self-defense and hunting would not be infringed upon by the new government. The right pre-existed the constitution and would continue to exist under the new government. [yes, according to the courts 2A is also about hunting]

    • Everything that need be said, in a nutshell. The only defense to this fundamental precept is that we need not fear our own government, it is here to help, and we couldn’t do anything about it if it decided to become a tyranny anyway, so we may just as well write off the 2A as obsolete.

  9. It is my birthright. As I was born in the U S of A, I am able to own the firearm, bow, club, crossbow, sword, or knife of my choosing.
    Period.

    • It is your birthright (or natural right, if you will) to own such things for the protection of your self, family, and property. This is your birthright as a human being. Being born in the USA just means that you’re fortunate enough to be a citizen of a nation which recognizes this right and has enshrined it in its founding document.

    • It’s the birthright of every thinking individual. The right to keep and bear arms is a subset of the right of self-defense, and the right of self-defense arises from self-ownership.

      You own yourself. That’s true of every self-aware individual. As your own owner, you and you alone have the right and authority to decide how and when and with what you defend yourself.

      The problem is that most of the world hasn’t figured that out yet — and much of America has forgotten.

  10. the only reason we have the 2A is . . . as a defense against tyranny from an abusive centralized government

    Yes.

  11. The SCOTUS has willfully confused state privileges with constitutional rights. Marriage was never a right, anymore than military service or freedom from fear or want are rights. But moral arguments and original intent are no longer accepted by many as having any merit. The cost of this folly will be high in terms of liberty. Perhaps it is time for each state to remove the artificial requirement of needing a permit to get married. The concept belonged to religious organizations, and was co-opted by governments in an attempt to regulate human behavior and interaction. This is the inevitable outcome of such actions. When reason dies, truth soon follows.

    • No. It is a revenue generating scheme. The states get money from fees for “licensing” marriage. Just like we have to pay CCW license fees. One is a religious act where a man takes a woman and promises to take care of her and she promises to support and help him. Its a great partnership when all parts are working correctly. The other is a restriction on a constitutional right. designed to prevent the carry of firearms, not permit it. When florida issued its first CCWs, it was argued that it was unnecessary as we had Open Carry. Now we don’t and only those who can afford it, can lawfully carry. The Dems, backed by then florida AG Janet Reno, stripped us of our constituonaly protected rights to Bear Arms and neither party is wanting to restore it (FL has a republican super majority and a republican governor).

      • licensing fees will never cover the tax savings given to those who ARE married, which now includes everyone up until the point that they expressly deny it. Which (funny this) actually destroys marriage.

        If everyone that ever existed fit inside a circle, we could call that Set “People.” If a 10% crescent shaped slice of the circle called People was labeled “Homosexual” (that would be a stretch because it is not likely to have ever achieved a 10% portion of the population of the earth), another 60% waxing gibbous shaped slice of People could be labeled “Heterosexual-Unmarried”, and the final 30% crescent shaped section on the other side of the Set People could be labeled “Heterosexual-married”.
        You could then say that a FRACTION of Homosexual want the ENTIRE CIRCLE, to discriminate against the ENTIRE CIRCLE enough for the ENTIRE CIRCLE (Set called People) to create the discriminated Set called “Heterosexual-married”. After which, the set of Homosexual wish to be attributed to the set of “Heterosexual-married” even though the set of “Heterosexual-Unmarried” which has potentially more qualifications by definition, still needs to be excluded. YOU FREEKING MORONS.

      • Not true. The first licensing schemes were intended as a method of testing for, and hopefully eradicating, syphilis and gonorrhea. You know, that blood test part? I was married in the ’80s and I had to get the blood test. But marriage as a legal contract developed for two reasons: to bring regularity and order to division of property on death and dissolution, and 2 for the protection of the patrimony of children, who have long been deemed “wards of the state” for purposes of legal proceedings who are in need of “special protection.” These things are still true today. The law is primarily concerned with the rights and obligations between persons, and marriage is of special concern. The law has, in various ways, regulated the property rights between spouses, as demonstrated by a comparison between the French “community property” system used in Texas Louisiana and California. [California adopted community property in order to encourage eligible women to move west by protecting their separate management and control of their separate property and giving them equal management and control of marital property. The system in the east gave men complete control over their spouse’s property for most intents and purposes, and gave him the lion’s share on dissolution.] The legal nature of the marital relationship is imbued with a fundamental public interest, and gives rise to rights and remedies not available to unmarried couples.

    • You call a marriage license an “artificial” requirement yet you say marriage is not a right. If it isn’t a right, then there’s nothing artificial about licenses for it, because if it’s not a right the state can do as it pleases.

      But marriage licenses are artificial precisely because it’s a right: no permission is needed from the state to exercise a right. Because marriage is a right, the only legitimate authority the state has is to require people to register their marriages if they want to receive any benefits or privileges therefrom that the state should choose to bestow. The state unfortunately is operating on the false presumption that since it has decreed benefits and privileges, it can regulate the matter itself. That rests on the foundation of all discrimination, which is the assumption that it is legitimate for the state to decree that some people are more equal than others. If all people are indeed equal, then what matters is the decision of the people as to whether or not they are married, and the state can only bow to that and acknowledge it.

      Since we have benefits and privileges for marriages, the only legitimate thing the government may do is to receive the information from people that those people are married. It is reasonable for the state to ascertain whether the individuals involved are choosing freely and aware of what they’re choosing, but that’s part of its job to protect our rights. So to be clear in terms of liberty, government shouldn’t used the term “marriage” at all, it should use something like “registered union”, meaning that people have formed an interpersonal union and informed the government of that fact; the government merely records that fact and proceeds to assign the benefits and privileges it has decided belong to all people so united.

      The same, of course, applies to arms, and also to militias. If the government wants to provide benefits and privileges to those who keep and bear arms, it may require registration by persons who keep and bear them, in order to assign those benefits and privileges. And should it choose to provide benefits and privileges to organized militias, the same would be true, save that only the officers would have to register to declare their militia existed. But since forming a militia, as with forming a marriage, is a matter of freedom of association, the government has no authority to forbid the formation of militias, nor require them to be licensed, nor define who may belong to them. Militias are where the rights of ‘marriage’ — in its broader right of freedom of association — and of keeping and bearing arms intersect.

      The Second Amendment actually assumes that right, of forming a militia, without stating it. Indirectly, the Court has affirmed that right — so we should be thankful that marriage is indeed a right, because that same right means that the PotG can also bind themselves into their own chosen associations.

    • Marriage was never a right

      The Supreme Court decided that marriage was a fundamental right in Loving v. Virginia in 1967.

    • Your premise is faulty. Marriage licenses were for purposes of disease control and for the purpose of ordering the CONSEQUENCES of relationships, not the relationship itself. Secondarily, the “registration” of marriages was necessary in an age when bastardy was a life sentence to infamy and discrimination; proof of being born in wedlock was a critical. Bastards had no rights to any property held by their families, and in ancient days, no right to a family name. Born “in sin,” a bastard was presumptively a sinner throughout his life.
      Marriage has consequences in terms of inheritance, rights to seek compensation for death and injury, and for rights in property, both during and after the termination (death/dissolution) of a marriage. NONE of which is of any consequence or interest to religious authorities in the modern era. And many if not most of these issues are presented to courts of law, not religious authorities, for resolution. It is hardly a question of morality, at least as far as the law is concerned, and the civil law is unconcerned with the nature of your religious beliefs, or the lack therefor.

  12. The Founding Fathers knew that tyrants had and would try to disarm citizen. They could also understand that “technological” improvements would create arms more advanced that what then existing. So they included the 2nd. But it is doubtful that they could imagine that civilized man would one day allow degenerate barbarians to again roam free, purveying their deviant habits.

    • Barbarians have never stopped roaming free. They just have, rather often, dressed nicely and talked pretty to deceive us.

      Of course the Founding Fathers would also never have imagined we’d send massive military expeditions across the globe to stir up the anger of barbarians, either — something about foreign entanglements and all that, or as Ben Franklin wanted on our money, minding our own business.

      • Me thinks those aren’t the “degenerate barbarians with deviant habits” NEIOWA is referring to…

  13. I hope lunchbox and/or god chime in on this topic.

    It’ll be a laugh riot. $20 says lunchbox will mention gay rights, and $50 says god will call someone a fascist at least once.

  14. “Why is marriage not mentioned in the constitution?”

    Because even our founders knew that marriage could be an excruciating form of Hell.

    🙂

  15. Read the preamble. Beyond that, the Bill of Rights had no application to state and local governments when it was proposed and ratified.

    The 2nd amendment itself says “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed [by the federal government].” The part in brackets is added to show how much clearer the 2A is when read without the muddying that comes when it (or any other part of the bill of rights) gets applied to state and local governments through the due process clause of the 14th amendment. The states, through ratification, clarified that Congress cannot infringe the right of the people to keep and bear because a state cannot be secure and free without a well-regulated militia. It’s an explicit check on federal power. However, as ratified, it is not any sort of a check on state or local power.

    Marriage was not addressed because it was not a federal issue.

    • Absolutely correct. The doctrine of “selective incorporation” through the 14th Amendment changed all that. In some cases for the better, in some cases maybe not.

  16. At the root of this conversation is survival. It’s the Maslow hierarchy of needs and explains this well. Do we need marriage to survive? (no). Do we need to eat? (yes). Is it safer to chase down a buffalo on foot or shoot one? Bottom line, marriage has nothing to do with basic human needs. By adding marriage it opens the door to say everything is a Right. The SCOTUS screwed up, and distorted the meaning and usefulness of the Constitution. Thanks for nothing.

    • The decision about marriage didn’t open the door to anything. Rights arise from self-ownership, so nothing that requires the unwilling cooperation of others can be a right. So there’s no “right to feel safe”, unless you can make yourself feel safe by your own actions — and so on with many of what the Left wants to call “rights”: the moment it requires coercion of others, it ceases to be a right. Marriage requires no coercion, unless it’s coercing the government to pay attention and recognize the decision of free individuals to be married.

  17. There is Success, and there is SUCKS-A_ _. There is no middle ground.

    Nothing of what SCOTUS has produced lately (and the battle lines are drawn again at liberal and conservative [you f-ing liberal POSs]) can be considered success.

    • We all agree that liberals are evil, that (D) is satan’s bed partner (as the submissive one), and this seating of SCOTUS sucks and is essentially wet ca ca.

      We did all agree, it has been declared, it is the law of the land, I have decided for you.

  18. Not to be a jerk, but we ask some pretty stupid questions around here from time to time!

    The reason it was added was because in many if not most places and periods governments have sought to control the access of weapons to help maintain power and order. In North America that wasn’t an option because local militias were the front line of defense from outside aggression by both Native Americans and European powers. The American Revolution began as a war when the British attempted to seize American weaponry which Americans saw as vital to their survival as a people and their right to possess as free men.

    Marriage on the other hand has been controlled primarily by religious establishments for most of history. Religion was intertwined with government in Europe but for the most part made their own rules. It also didn’t need explicitly called out because it was not something that had been under threat by the British government in the build up to and during the Revolution unlike most of the other rights explicitly listed in the Bill of Rights.

  19. First off, “Guns” weren’t enshrined in the Constitution – Arms were.

    Second, Freedom of association and contract is a First Principle of Liberty.

    Third, The 9th Amendment reads: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    Do the writers here really want to take TTAG down the road of religious-right, fear-mongering bigotry?

    • Are you saying that opinions that disagree with the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage can’t be voiced here? Are you saying that Chief Justice Roberts, as well as Justices Scalia, Alito, and Thomas are all religious-right-wing, fear-mongering bigots? Or do you just like to shut down any conversation that you find challenging to your own hazily-formed opinions? Because if so, I think they have a warm seat for you over at at Mothers against Gun Violence and Everytown for Gun Safety.

      • Scalia and Alito are definitely religious bigots. Thomas doesn’t say enough to indicate what he really is. Roberts is being a politician.

        The only real issue with the marriage decision is it didn’t go far enough, but that’s SCOTUS for you. A real decision in favor of liberty would have thrown out all marriage restrictions and told states to just write down whoever came and said they were married, because the government has no business intervening in people’s private lives.

        Oh — and someone should have made it very clear that if your religion says you can be married, the government most certainly has no business objecting, and if your religion doesn’t want to join certain people in marriage, the government has no business there, either.

        • Exactly! Some would argue that polygamy should be banned but the logic behind its ban (that it leads to child and spousal abuse) can be enforced using existing laws and still allow a theoretical happy marriage of a man an many wives or even a wife with many husband or a mixed sex combination of men, women, transgender, etc. There is no reason the government should be able to say who can marry who outside of cases of clear abuse such people coerced into arrange marriages and the marriage of children.

      • Not at all. As a member of the TTAG community I am voicing my opinion that Marriage Equality is not relevant nor comparable to infringements on the 2nd Amendment, nor the topic of guns in general.

        • “Or do you just like to shut down any conversation that you find challenging to your own hazily-formed opinions?”

          Oh the irony. It always amazes me how often accusations of shutting down the conversation are so often the opening salvo in a conversation, by those that find their own “hazily-formed” opinions challenged.

  20. The answer to this, and many other similar questions, is to be found in The Federalist Papers, a complete and rather long exposition of the thinking behind the Founders’ intent in the US Constitution. The Federalist Papers were published in the newspapers of the time in & around New York City (then the capitol of the Confederation) for the public to read.

    Because, you see, the men who wrote the US Constitution had been sent forth from their states to amend and improve the Articles of Confederation, not write a new constitution and form of government. The authors of the Constitution (and Bill of Rights) had to sell their idea(s) to the public at large, who could have scotched the whole thing at the state level.

    Am I the only person here who actually had civics in high school? Was everyone else here too busy rolling condoms onto bananas in sex ed class or what?

    • “Am I the only person here who actually had civics in high school? Was everyone else here too busy rolling condoms onto bananas in sex ed class or what?”

      It kinda died out in the mid-70’s, it seems.

      At least we never had condom-rolling instruction.

      But we did have at home one of the first VHS VCRs (And a few entertaining instructional videos. Something about a girl named Debbie visiting Dallas).

      *cough*

    • Was everyone else here too busy rolling condoms onto bananas in sex ed class or what?

      You had sex ed classes? Wow. What did the teachers have you do for homework? 🙂

      • No, that’s what the kids today tell me replaced civics in their daily rotation.

        I maintain that the fact you and I are here on this planet, Ralph, is the reason why “sex education” is utterly superfluous. Our parents obviously didn’t need it. Their parents obviously didn’t need sex ed. So why bother giving classes in the obvious?

    • No, I’m from a red state. Sex ed was pretty much banned. Thank gods I learned about protection on my own.

  21. I think we all kind of knew this one already. I’ll say this, though – it’s made quite clear from the two Appleseed classes I’ve taken. During the history portion, the instructors discuss the “three strikes of the match” the third of which was the attempt to confiscate the colonists’ powder and arms. Appleseed claims to not be advocating for or anticipating some sort of Second Revolution, but the message is clear that a real push for confiscation is at least a possibility, and it may provoke a pretty sharp response from the citizens, who should be ready with solid marksmanship.

  22. During the ratification process, it looked for a time as if several of the state conventions would reject the constitution. The Federalists convinced the wavering types that the proposed constitution may be defective, but hold their noses and “ratify now, fix later.” The later state conventions included in their convention reports lists of improvements they wanted added to the constitution. The first federal congress condensed those ideas into twelve proposed amendments and sent them to the state legislatures for approval. Ten were accepted. In short, it could be said that the Second Amendment exists because the people demanded it.

    • Isn’t there considerable historical evidence that several southern(meaning heavily dependent on slave labor) states were reluctant to ratify a constitution which left open the possibility of those states losing control over their own “slave-patrol” militia, which were an important element in keeping their communities and economies stable? I don’t recall the 2nd amendment being “demanded” by ALL the states’ peoples.

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