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View Full Version : extent of the right to bear arms in US



DavidP
11-08-2002, 05:46 PM
Is it legal here in the US to privately own something like a military jet? And have it fully armed with missiles and everything?

Is that covered in the right to bear arms? Is it legal?

just wondering...

minesweeper
11-08-2002, 05:54 PM
Maybe it's just because I am a european, but, does it really matter?

I mean, what's the obsession with owning weapons?

DavidP
11-08-2002, 06:26 PM
well i dont personally own any weapons. i was just thinking and lots of things come to your mind as you think...and that was one of the things that came to my mind this time...

so...anyone know if its legal?

Shadow12345
11-08-2002, 06:32 PM
Privately own a jet, yes, have it fully armed? No way in hell. My reasoning: only civilians with very special liscensing are allowed fully automatic weapons. These are (believe it or not) often ranchers that miles away from other people (who knows what ranchers need fully automatic weapons for). So this means that civlians can barely privately own automatic weapons, so I don't see how they could possibly ever own jets with bombs.

When they wrote in the constitution they could have only meant the right to bear rifles when they meant arms, for jets with bombs and missles did not exist therefore I do not see how the constitution could extend to cover those types of weapons.

kermi3
11-08-2002, 06:42 PM
I mean, what's the obsession with owning weapons?

It's a deep rooted "obsession." I'm quiet serious when I say it goes back to colonial days. Especially in terms of Europe it wasn't too long ago when having a gun in your home was a fact of life, and a necessity. A mere hundred years ago large portions of the nation were "wild." Be it cattle rustlers, hunting for food, "natives," whatever, a gun was a valuble tool in a home. Even for things like putting down animals who were injured beyond hope.

As for a military jet etc, no it isn't legal, just like an automatic weapon isn't legal. Not only is it illegal, but you'd have a real hard time obtaining a new, or used, jet used byu the USAF, USN, or US Army, the manufacturors wouldn't sell to you, they'd loose their gov contracts.



When they wrote in the constitution they could have only meant the right to bear rifles when they meant arms, for jets with bombs and missles did not exist therefore I do not see how the constitution could extend to cover those types of weapons.

This is true, however when they wrote up the constitution they also could only have imagined newspapers, not the internet, I think the analogy works. The meanings of the constitution must change with the times, that's what judges are for.


kemri3

Kermi3

minesweeper
11-08-2002, 07:02 PM
It's a deep rooted "obsession." I'm quiet serious when I say it goes back to colonial days. Especially in terms of Europe it wasn't too long ago when having a gun in your home was a fact of life, and a necessity. A mere hundred years ago large portions of the nation were "wild." Be it cattle rustlers, hunting for food, "natives," whatever, a gun was a valuble tool in a home. Even for things like putting down animals who were injured beyond hope.

Ok that's all granted but it kind of suggests that Americans are neanderthals who aren't capable of adapting with the progression of civilisation. I don't think that is at all true which is why I bring up the question of this obsession with owning firearms. Like you say, in Europe it was normal not too long ago, but not anymore. Ownership of a gun has certainly never crossed my mind before and I am sure that the average New Yorker has absolutely no need to hunt wild food.

I am speaking off the cuff here as I have never been to the US and don't know anyone there but I am just curious as to why in our modern, supposedly civilised society, anyone is at all concerend about their rights to own weapons.

salvelinus
11-08-2002, 07:21 PM
Ah, the 2nd amendment...
As a generalization....
Liberals believe in an expansive, loose interpretation of the Constitution, except when it comes to this amendment. There it's strict constructionist, at least on the phrase regarding "well regulated militia"
Conservatives believe in a strict, word for word interpretation , except for this amendment, keying on the "shall not be infringed" phrase, ignoring the other words.
The 2nd Amendment is just not clear. The ideas the Founders had in writing it are almost certainly not the same we have today.
At any rate, the Constitution has never been evaluated on strict constructionist terms. Nothing in the Constitution prevents you from yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater, to use a famous example of free speech, but if you do so falsely, you're liable for any damages from the panic. Similarly, freedom of speech doesn't protect you from libel or slander charges.
So, the "right to bear arms" has always been limited. In general, anything from automatic weapons (not semi-automatic) and up is prohibited/regulated, at least to a much greater degree.
Of course, most of the Bill of Rights is now obsolete and ignored by the government, so the point is probably moot.

kermi3
11-08-2002, 07:24 PM
Ok that's all granted but it kind of suggests that Americans are neanderthals who aren't capable of adapting with the progression of civilisation.

Touche heh. Ok here's my point:

For a very long time in the US, much more recently than in Europe, they were a must have. The last time Europe had a "frontier," wel lI can't remember it. And Well habits stick. For example, how many people have 3.5" floppy drives in their computer? I do, I wouldn't buy a computer without it. I've never used the drive, but I have to have it. Granted this is a poor example, but you get the general idea.

Now for the adapting and progression...Even today there is a strong streak of "Cowboy" in the US. US culture very much strives for the old glory days, while moving forward. In movies, books, even TV shows, youll see that charector type idealized. Americains (from the US), are obbsessed with freedom, and with free spirit. The gun is a symbol of that.

Moreover people obsess over things that the used to have, need, or simply represents something they admire. For example, classic cars, fine art, and many other things.


Now I should note, unless you're in Texas, the average person isn't walking around with a gun. Heck, there's a pretty good chance they don't even own one, one study I saw said only 42% (most i n Texas I bet ;)). Every American doesn't have a gun. I don't have one, although I should note that I do have the desire to learn to shoot well one day. I think it's an intresting challenge. If I were to own a weapon I certainly wouldn't keep it laoded at home, it would be under lock and key. My point for owning one would purely be fascination (something I have for all weapons, especially old ones) and an enjoyment of shooting on a range.

I appologize for all the bad spellings and run on sentances ;).

Kermi3

salvelinus
11-08-2002, 07:28 PM
Originally posted by minesweeper
anyone is at all concerend about their rights to own weapons.
Protection from criminals.
Hunting of game.
At least a minimal protection against a police state government

BMJ
11-08-2002, 07:40 PM
*gasp* Thanks salvelinus! You just reminded me...

Hey yutz! Guns are for family protection, hunting dangerous or delicious animals, and keeping the king of England outta your face!

minesweeper
11-08-2002, 07:40 PM
Ok, Kermi3. You have made some good points. Though it would still concern me a little, guns are far more dangerous than 3.5 inch floppies.


Protection from criminals.

Criminals here don't generally carry guns because the chance of a civillian having one is so small. And if you shot a criminal who didn't have a gun, well you would be hard pushed to justify it in court and be prosecuted yourself.


Hunting of game.

Allowed here with organised hunts and the use of licensed shotguns (farmers are allowed to own shotguns, our only exception). So you just rent one for the day.


At least a minimal protection against a police state government

Are you serious? Take on everything the government could throw at you with your household weapons?

Nick
11-08-2002, 08:28 PM
The 2nd Amendment is just not clear. The ideas the Founders had in writing it are almost certainly not the same we have today.

The founders wanted a goverment that the people own.
This meant giving the people the right to over throw any goverment that they thought was tyranny. 200 years latter
and there are pratical reasons for everyone not having jet bombers.

DavidP
11-08-2002, 09:24 PM
I love starting discussions. :D

kevinalm
11-08-2002, 09:45 PM
The second amendment is quite clear, but two centuries of language drift have made it difficult for modern english speakers to understand. The term militia meant every able bodied citizen of the age of majority. (At that time male citizens, sixteen or older. It is reasonably to reinterpret this to male or female, 18 or perhaps 21.) Militia does not refer to the military. (See the fifth amendment.)

"Well regulated" is particularly confusing to modern ears. It sounds like it means under tight government control. It does not! Well regulated is an eighteenth century colloquial phrase that actually meant something like "being well supplied with arms and ammunition and versed in the use of same."

It is arguably true that the intent was only to cover personal weapons, muskets, rifles, pistols and the like. I think artillery and fighter planes can be legitimately excluded.

The overiding purpose of the 2nd Amendment was to string a "trip wire" against oppresive government. Their hope was that the threat of armed insurrection would keep government in check. So far it has worked reasonably well.

Incidently, anyone who wants to understand the Constitution should read the "Federalist Papers". It's all explained in great detail, by the authors.

OneStiffRod
11-08-2002, 09:57 PM
This is for minesweeper...

Just making something illegal doesn't really mean anything, criminals are not detoured by laws.

America has a different culture, we value personal freedoms and not socialistic values. We enjoy our private property rights and ownership - this is what the 2nd ammendment is really about, defending our rights, our personal freedoms against anyone including the state.

Also, AMERICA is a huge place - I bet your country could easily fit inside of the state of california, wher I live. Most of the USA is rural - you discover this easily when you travel across the country. Letting the ppl who live in the big cities decide the rights of those in the rest of the country is ludacris.

Lastly, this issue will never be resolved through words and arguments, it would be as bloody as the civil war was. I think you would find that most policemen, firemen, and government agents believe in the 2nd ammendment and that's the side they would fight on if it came to that.

Nope. Americans will own guns for longer than you or I will conceivably live, and then they will own Lasers and Plasma Rifles.

adrianxw
11-09-2002, 03:37 AM
I think you'll find a large number of older, and not so old military aircraft are in private hands.

I remember going to see a display by "The Confederate AirForce" in Tampa about 15 years ago. Fighters, bombers...

At a display in England about 10 years ago, 13 Spitfires flew, all but one of them, provately owned. On the same program, a privately owned MIG 21 fighter was displayed, and another was being offered for sale in the static park.

ammar
11-09-2002, 06:45 AM
I think it's very simply NO, and it's supposed to happen just think of it!
DavidP, maybe you will think about buying ballistic Missiles:D.
I don't know hohw you came up with this idea:D

DavidP
11-09-2002, 09:10 AM
13 Spitfires flew, all but one of them, provately owned. On the same program, a privately owned MIG 21 fighter was displayed, and another was being offered for sale in the static park.


hmm....i bet they werent armed though....

and i bet they cost a lot too...one brand new fighter jet cost like 25 million bucks for the government...(i think, i am not completely sure about that, correct me if i am wrong)...

of course, if you did buy one of those older fighter jets that adrianxw was talking about, and they were disarmed, you could always use your computer programming, engineering, and technical skills to mount a pistol or two...haha...think about that...an old fighter jet with mounted pistols...

Cgawd
11-09-2002, 12:34 PM
i think what our ancestors meant by "The right to bare arms" is the right to keep our Arms-the limbs on our body, i mean, what would we do with out them!!:D

hk_mp5kpdw
11-12-2002, 06:59 AM
The Mig 21 up for sale by a private owner on ebay was up to around $230,000. It came with rocket pods, minus rockets of course. Here is the link. (http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1871775187) To bad the bidding is over.

Owning machine guns and explosives isn't impossible, you just need the proper permits from the BATF. It helps not to live in ceratin states that prohibit them outright, CA/NY come to mind if I am not mistaken. Silencers/suppressors are also legal with the proper paperwork.

The most likely problem you would face with owning a fully armed jet would be when you tried to fly it anywhere, especially if it was out of sate, or out of country. You need special permits just to take a machinegun down the road when you go to the shooting range. I can't imagine the paperwork needed for an armed jet.

adrianxw
11-12-2002, 02:44 PM
Did you notice the MIG 21 seller at e-bay had negotiated supersonic rights at test ranges, can't remember where they all were but I think from Edwards was one.

Sebastiani
11-12-2002, 02:54 PM
My first gun was an old Winchester rifle I got on my 9th birthday. When I was a teenager, I had several rifles and two handguns. Now I just have a single handgun and that old Winchester. I have never had to use one in self defense, but I'm glad I have them nonetheless. For one, they're our heritage and culture. Second, at least where I live, being shot in a holdup is common enough to warrant it (those killed are usually unarmed).

Jets, of course are not covered in the constitution, and that's fine with me. The way I see it, if someone were after me in an F-16, I'd probably do better off on the ground than in a dog-fight, anyway. :D