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  1. #73
    rattler's Avatar
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    THE UNABRIDGED SECOND AMENDMENT
    by J. Neil Schulman
    If you wanted to know all about the Big Bang, you'd ring up Carl Sagan, right ? And if you wanted to know about desert warfare, the man to call would be Norman Schwarzkopf, no question about it. But who would you call if you wanted the top expert on American usage, to tell you the meaning of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution ?

    That was the question I asked A.C. Brocki, editorial coordinator of the Los Angeles Unified School District and formerly senior editor at Houghton Mifflin Publishers -- who himself had been recommended to me as the foremost expert on English usage in the Los Angeles school system. Mr. Brocki told me to get in touch with Roy Copperud, a retired professor of journalism at the University of Southern California and the author of "American Usage and Style: The Consensus."

    A little research lent support to Brocki's opinion of Professor Copperud's expertise.

    Roy Copperud was a newspaper writer on major dailies for over three decades before embarking on a a distinguished 17-year career teaching journalism at USC. Since 1952, Copperud has been writing a column dealing with the professional aspects of journalism for "Editor and Publisher", a weekly magazine focusing on the journalism field.

    He's on the usage panel of the American Heritage Dictionary, and Merriam Webster's Usage Dictionary frequently cites him as an expert. Copperud's fifth book on usage, "American Usage and Style: The Consensus," has been in continuous print from Van Nostrand Reinhold since 1981, and is the winner of the Association of American Publisher's Humanities Award.

    That sounds like an expert to me.

    After a brief telephone call to Professor Copperud in which I introduced myself but did not give him any indication of why I was interested, I sent the following letter:


    "I am writing you to ask you for your professional opinion as an expert in English usage, to analyze the text of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, and extract the intent from the text.

    "The text of the Second Amendment is, 'A well-regulated Militia, being necessary for the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.'

    "The debate over this amendment has been whether the first part of the sentence, 'A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State', is a restrictive clause or a subordinate clause, with respect to the independent clause containing the subject of the sentence, 'the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.'

    "I would request that your analysis of this sentence not take into consideration issues of political impact or public policy, but be restricted entirely to a linguistic analysis of its meaning and intent. Further, since your professional analysis will likely become part of litigation regarding the consequences of the Second Amendment, I ask that whatever analysis you make be a professional opinion that you would be willing to stand behind with your reputation, and even be willing to testify under oath to support, if necessary."


    My letter framed several questions about the test of the Second Amendment, then concluded:


    "I realize that I am asking you to take on a major responsibility and task with this letter. I am doing so because, as a citizen, I believe it is vitally important to extract the actual meaning of the Second Amendment. While I ask that your analysis not be affected by the political importance of its results, I ask that you do this because of that importance."


    After several more letters and phone calls, in which we discussed terms for his doing such an analysis, but in which we never discussed either of our opinions regarding the Second Amendment, gun control, or any other political subject, Professor Copperud sent me the follow analysis (into which I have inserted my questions for the sake of clarity):



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [Copperud:] "The words 'A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state,' contrary to the interpretation cited in your letter of July 26, 1991, constitutes a present participle, rather than a clause. It is used as an adjective, modifying 'militia,' which is followed by the main clause of the sentence (subject 'the right', verb 'shall'). The to keep and bear arms is asserted as an essential for maintaining a militia.

    "In reply to your numbered questions:

    [Schulman:] "(1) Can the sentence be interpreted to grant the right to keep and bear arms solely to 'a well-regulated militia'?"

    [Copperud:] "(1) The sentence does not restrict the right to keep and bear arms, nor does it state or imply possession of the right elsewhere or by others than the people; it simply makes a positive statement with respect to a right of the people."

    [Schulman:] "(2) Is 'the right of the people to keep and bear arms' granted by the words of the Second Amendment, or does the Second Amendment assume a preexisting right of the people to keep and bear arms, and merely state that such right 'shall not be infringed'?"

    [Copperud:] "(2) The right is not granted by the amendment; its existence is assumed. The thrust of the sentence is that the right shall be preserved inviolate for the sake of ensuring a militia."

    [Schulman:] "(3) Is the right of the people to keep and bear arms conditioned upon whether or not a well regulated militia, is, in fact necessary to the security of a free State, and if that condition is not existing, is the statement 'the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed' null and void?"

    [Copperud:] "(3) No such condition is expressed or implied. The right to keep and bear arms is not said by the amendment to depend on the existence of a militia. No condition is stated or implied as to the relation of the right to keep and bear arms and to the necessity of a well-regulated militia as a requisite to the security of a free state. The right to keep and bear arms is deemed unconditional by the entire sentence."

    [Schulman:] "(4) Does the clause 'A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,' grant a right to the government to place conditions on the 'right of the people to keep and bear arms,' or is such right deemed unconditional by the meaning of the entire sentence?"

    [Copperud:] "(4) The right is assumed to exist and to be unconditional, as previously stated. It is invoked here specifically for the sake of the militia."

    [Schulman:] "(5) Which of the following does the phrase 'well-regulated militia' mean: 'well-equipped', 'well-organized,' 'well-drilled,' 'well-educated,' or 'subject to regulations of a superior authority'?"

    [Copperud:] "(5) The phrase means 'subject to regulations of a superior authority;' this accords with the desire of the writers for civilian control over the military."

    [Schulman:] "(6) (If at all possible, I would ask you to take account the changed meanings of words, or usage, since that sentence was written 200 years ago, but not take into account historical interpretations of the intents of the authors, unless those issues can be clearly separated."

    [Copperud:] "To the best of my knowledge, there has been no change in the meaning of words or in usage that would affect the meaning of the amendment. If it were written today, it might be put: "Since a well-regulated militia is necessary tot he security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged.'

    [Schulman:] "As a 'scientific control' on this analysis, I would also appreciate it if you could compare your analysis of the text of the Second Amendment to the following sentence,

    "A well-schooled electorate, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and read Books, shall not be infringed.'

    "My questions for the usage analysis of this sentence would be,

    "(1) Is the grammatical structure and usage of this sentence and the way the words modify each other, identical to the Second Amendment's sentence?; and

    "(2) Could this sentence be interpreted to restrict 'the right of the people to keep and read Books' _only_ to 'a well-educated electorate' -- for example, registered voters with a high-school diploma?"

    [Copperud:] "(1) Your 'scientific control' sentence precisely parallels the amendment in grammatical structure.

    "(2) There is nothing in your sentence that either indicates or implies the possibility of a restricted interpretation."

    Professor Copperud had only one additional comment, which he placed in his cover letter: "With well-known human curiosity, I made some speculative efforts to decide how the material might be used, but was unable to reach any conclusion."

    So now we have been told by one of the top experts on American usage what many knew all along: the Constitution of the United States unconditionally protects the people's right to keep and bear arms, forbidding all governments formed under the Constitution from abridging that right.

    As I write this, the attempted coup against constitutional government in the Soviet Union has failed, apparently because the will of the people in that part of the world to be free from capricious tyranny is stronger than the old guard's desire to maintain a monopoly on dictatorial power.

    And here in the United States, elected lawmakers, judges, and appointed officials who are pledged to defend the Constitution of the United States ignore, marginalize, or prevaricate about the Second Amendment routinely. American citizens are put in American prisons for carrying arms, owning arms of forbidden sorts, or failing to satisfy bureaucratic requirements regarding the owning and carrying of firearms -- all of which is an abridgement of the unconditional right of the people to keep and bear arms, guaranteed by the Constitution.

    And even the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), staunch defender of the rest of the Bill of Rights, stands by and does nothing.

    it seems it is up to those who believe in the right to keep and bear arms to preserve that right. no one else will. No one else can. Will we beg our elected representatives not to take away our rights, and continue regarding them as representing us if they do? Will we continue obeying judges who decide that the Second Amendment doesn't mean what it says it means but means whatever they say it means in their Orwellian doublespeak ?

    Or will be simply keep and bear the arms of our choice, as the Constitution of the United States promises us we can, and pledge that we will defend that promise with our lives, our fortuned, and our sacred honor ?

    (C) 1991 by The New Gun Week and Second Amendment Foundation. Informational reproduction of the entire article is hereby authorized provided the author, The New Gun Week and Second Amendment Foundation are credited. All other rights reserved.
    cervid serial killer
    Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety
    I didn't get stimulated but he kept his promise on change, that's about all I got left!
    http://www.wolfpointherald.com/--http://www.safety-brite.net/

  2. #74
    God must have an interesting sense of humor Wesley's Avatar
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    Well now, that was one heck of an article! Good read, and I enjoyed it. It'd make a good argument.

    Zap, I'm having a very hard time figuring out how you linked guns to preaching... It was a good sermon none the less. Heck JLAP was partially moved by it, and that's saying somthin! LOL We still love you JLAP.

    Bugs on the other hand... wow. I agree that's He's inclusive in that he loves everyone and would very much like to see them in Heaven, but that He's exclusive at the same time. Before I get jumped all over (I know you will! LOL) let me explain myself. During our lifetime, God makes all attempts possible in order to save us from eternal death. Once we die though; we are out of second chances. God is a perfect god, and imperfection cannot dwell within His presence. That's what the blood of Jesus was for. When he died he took all our sins upon his shoulders. It was at this point that God was forced to turn His back on His Son.

    Matthew 27:45-46
    " 45From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. 46About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi,[c] lama sabachthani?"—which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

    The truly great thing is not the death though(even though lots of people are fascinated by it). It was the resurrection would symbolizes the return to and His ability to save us from death. It was at this point that Jesus walked the earth and appeared to the disciples and made them aware of the Holy Spirit which would come to the earth and act kind of like a bridge.

    I believe that about covers the gist of it. I'm sure someone will find holes and try to stick them to me. It always happens. But if that's the case, PM me or stick it on another topic. This is a gun topic. So I'm gonna stick to that and post a pic of my muzzloader with specs and marvel at why we are losing our rights to shoot.




    My track record with my Knight .50 cal Muzzloader.
    One 6 pt buck that I killed on the first day of Muzzloader season in Ashe County, NC 2006.

    I'll see about getting pics of the deer, he was pretty good sized for an NC deer.
    ~Wes~

    My plants are going green to save the environment

    My Growlist

  3. #75

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    I disagree on one point, HE is still not exclusive! Yes, you have the chance to accept or reject. Those who have had nothing to do with Him have had their chance, and made their choice. They are included with those who have made their choice on where they want to "live" after they die. I have made my choice, as have you.So, you are included in the plan as to where you wish to go. Choice made (inclusive), you move on with your life until you have no life no mo'! I still see no exclusion. Remember, even the fallen angels were given a choice. They made it, and God works from there. People exclude themselves from grace, not, as I am hearing, God. His love is for everyone who listens and seeks. He holds it out to everyone to have until the jig is up!!!
    My muzzleloaders are a Kentucky long rifle, .45 caliber, and a perfect copy of an original Jake and Samuel Hawken Mountain Rifle, .54 caliber. And a .54 caliber, single ball, muzzleloading pistol. These are my hunting guns. I also hunt with a Plains Indian Bow with handmade arrows. Prefer the rifles, but silent kill is a wonderful thing!
    45 yrs. growin\'
    Founder NASC

  4. #76
    herenorthere's Avatar
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    I don't think it's right to put a scope on a muzzleloader unless you also add a DVD player and flat screen monitor so you can watch movies while while you wait.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals — but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

  5. #77
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    Ehh, I can't believe in someone who made me an "abomination". I'd like to believe in God, it must be nice, but I can't.

    Hell, sometimes I wonder If I still subconsciously believe but have just suppressed it. I used to be a REALLY good christian goody-goody you know. Of my own choice.

    Whoo maybe this is a cry for help lmao.

    Lmao, can't believe I just posted that. If I get any preachy PM's I won't reply so don't bother.

  6. #78
    herenorthere's Avatar
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    God can't think gays are abominations or he wouldn't have created musical theater. God probably has more remorse about giving us fundamentalists than giving us gays.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals — but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

  7. #79
    God must have an interesting sense of humor Wesley's Avatar
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    Lots of people don't believe in scoping a muzzloader. I only believe in scoping the modern ones. My dad has an OLD muzzloader that's not scoped that has killed many a deer. He just wont let me hunt with it because he'd rather use a scoped gun. I'm going to hunt with next year though, I'd really like that. LOL

    Bug you've got quite an arsenal of muzzloaders. That's oldschool as it gets w/o being to old. LOL.

    Bug, I see exactly where youre coming from. It's our choice to exclude ourselves. I see what you mean. Maybe you just misunderstood what I meant by exclusive, cause that's kinda what I was hitting at. He doesn't exclude us, we exclude Him.

    JLAP, since when were you an abomination? It's not you that's the abomination, it's the sinful nature and sin. We all have 'em, even those of us who have been "saved by grace". He forgives us and we move on and allow Him to change us as He sees fit. One analogy I've always like is that we are the clay and he is the potter behind the potter wheel. He works us and makes into the great work of art that we are meant to be.

    Bashing the theater are we
    Last edited by Wesley; 02-24-2007 at 12:37 PM. Reason: the usual... adding something
    ~Wes~

    My plants are going green to save the environment

    My Growlist

  8. #80
    rattler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by herenorthere View Post
    I don't think it's right to put a scope on a muzzleloader unless you also add a DVD player and flat screen monitor so you can watch movies while while you wait.
    i had someone tell me that they could shoot acurratly out to atleast 200 yards, no longer had to have to worry bout rain dampening their powder and such cause of their fine modern muzzel loader...............i told them they found the solution to this 150 years ago............its called the self contained metalic cartridge

    if someone wants to hunt with a scoped muzzel loader, more power to them, i dont mess with black powder much and have minimal interest in muzzel loaders but to each their own
    cervid serial killer
    Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety
    I didn't get stimulated but he kept his promise on change, that's about all I got left!
    http://www.wolfpointherald.com/--http://www.safety-brite.net/

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