Does the 2nd Amendment cover all arms, such as tanks, missles, bombs, drones, canons, submarines?
Since some believe the 2nd Amendment covers automatic weapons, does it cover bomb making? Does it cover having a missile launcher in your backyard? How about an armed tank in your driveway? Or a Howitzer protecting your front door? These are all arms. What are the limits within the 2nd Amendment, or are there none?
The 2nd Amendment was never meant for citizens to have a personal arsenal. The founding fathers were terrified of the idea of mobs of armed farmers rising up against them. Otherwise they would have never held the Constitutional Convention in the first place (see Shays Rebellion). They merely wanted yeoman farmers to be able to quickly mobilize as a private force in case the professional US Army overthrew the government and established a dictatorship. The amendment was a countermeasure to a runaway military; not a countermeasure to the government. If I were a Supreme Court Justice, I would interpret the amendment to at least be limited to the ownership of personal weapons of a single militiaman. This would have to be today's equivalent of what was considered part of a soldier's personal kit of weapons in the 1780s (plus unlimited rifles meant for hunting). But the "military" kit allowed would be one semi-auto rifle only, one or two pistols, an assortment of knives, axes, etc. Let's face it. A real American insurgency force in the US wouldn't use assault rifles anyway. Ours is a nation of snipers and hunters, not soldiers.
Thank you Old Empresario - interesting answer, mostly correct. I assume you are not in favor of citizens having the items I described in the question?
Just "mostly correct"? To answer the question, no. Although I know people who fix up WWII-era aircraft and fly them around for recreational purposes if that's allowed.
The meanings of the 2nd Amendment have been and will continue to be debated. Its adoption following the Revolutionary War was mainly to guard against foreign invasion or tyrannical government. So you don't think tanks and missiles are covered?
I heard on NPR awhile ago that today a customer was walking through the aisles of a Krueger's Supermarket with a loaded rifle slung over his shoulder. Many of the customers got afraid and called 911 on their cell phones and the police arrived and found out the gentleman was only making a statement of the Second Amendment - having the right to bear arms. Shouldn't there be some guidelines as to where people are allowed to bear loaded weapons in public places such as grocery stores, doctors offices, clinics, hospitals, schools, etc? Of course unless they are with a protective service on a work assignment. The man with the rifle was not charged in the store but was asked to leave as he was scaring the customers. These highly automatic weapons of today are far more powerful than what was around when the Second Amendment was written - I think not sure on that point.
Hi Deb Welch - thanks for your input, but you didn't actually answer the question - please reread it and tell me what you think.
Sorry - went to Wikipedia - found what it meant in the late 1700's to bear arms. Rifles,muskets,firelock,a sufficient bayonet,knapsack,pouch,2 spare flints,24 cartridges etc. 2010 - Supreme Court listed firearms consistent with 2nd Amendmt.
I'd like to think so. Since it's related, quite a few years ago there was a Cobra attack helicopter on Ebay (you can seriously buy anything there) and I'm pretty sure if I had a million in change laying around, that beast would be in my driveway right now.
Like most things in this country, it will take people pushing it to the extreme for there to be a change.
So Sapper, am I to believe that you think those items I described in the question are covered by the 2nd Amendment?
They are covered. As it stands right now, the 2nd amendment is too broad and it will take someone having a tank in their front yard for it to finally be changed. The current wording was find the the 1700's, but not today.
I agree - the same is true for automatic assault rifles and high capacity magazines - that is why the 2nd Amendment is scary and outdated. The authors had no idea of the weapons to come.
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