This is obviously a politically and emotionally charged topic at the
moment, and I want to say at the outset that I personally am not a
proponent of "gun rights" as that term is commonly used in public
discourse.  However, I do believe in accurately interpreting the
Constitution, and I have to agree with Franklin that the Second Amendment
neither asserts nor implies that a "well regulated Militia" is only one
that is "federally authorized."  On the contrary, it asserts that such a
Militia is "necessary to the security of a free State," and of course the
word "State" in this context refers to each of the sovereign
entities--thirteen at that time, fifty today--that are united under the
federal government.  Furthermore, the right "to keep and bear Arms" is not
limited to the members of said Militia, but is attributed to "the people,"
which again has a very specific meaning in this context; cf. the Ninth and
Tenth Amendments.


Jon Alan Schmidt - Olathe, Kansas, USA
Professional Engineer, Amateur Philosopher, Lutheran Layman -

On Fri, Feb 23, 2018 at 11:50 AM, <> wrote:

> Gary, list
> Out of curiosity, if it was meant for a “federally-authorized” collective
> fighting force, why did it need to be included as an amendment among the
> Bill of Rights? Surely no such amendment should be needed to protect the
> existence of the National Guard, and it’s hard to see why anyone voting for
> its inclusion would have thought so at the time.
> — Franklin
> Sent from my iPhone
> On Feb 22, 2018, at 8:46 PM, Stephen C. Rose <> wrote:
> These arguments are clear and obvious to all but certain political leaders
> and their legal supporters. I am glad to see them understood as
> pragmaticist. There is also an argument against violence per se which
> relates in my view to a distinction between binary conflict and triadic
> accommodation -- based on continuity and evolutionary love. It seems to me
> that these matters deserve a wide hearing and should command the attention
> of the global community of pragmaticists. Philosophy, in general, has been
> deficient in dealing with the fundamental issues of survival.
> On Thu, Feb 22, 2018 at 7:38 PM, Gary Richmond <>
> wrote:
>> List,
>> The conclusion of the Peircean linguist Michael Shapiro's blog post of
>> 2014 on the Second Amendment. First, the Amendment.
>>  "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."
>> "The word militia of the first clause governs—is hierarchically
>> superordinate to—the phrase the right of the people to keep and bear arms.
>> The framers of the Constitution had the grammatical option to invert the
>> two clauses but did not. The element order speaks for itself, rendering
>> militia the pragmatistic scope (i. e., in the Peircean sense of the
>> philosophical doctrine of pragmatism) under which right to keep and bear
>> arms is restricted. " Michael Shapiro
>> His complete argumentation is, of course, longer; for which see his blog.
>> Included in Shapiro's post was this:
>> From Dennis Baron, “Guns and Grammar: the Linguistics of the Second
>> Amendment” (
>> s.pdf):
>> “In our amicus brief in the Heller case we attempted to demonstrate,
>> • that the Second Amendment must be read in its entirety, and that its
>> initial absolute functions as a subordinate adverbial that establishes a
>> cause-and-effect connection with the amendment’s main clause; connection
>> with the amendment’s main clause;
>> • that the vast preponderance of examples show that the phrase bear arms
>> refers specifically to carrying weapons in the context of a well-regulated
>> militia;
>> • that the word militia itself refers to a federally-authorized,
>> collective fighting force, drawn only from the subgroup of citizens
>> eligible for service in such a body;
>> • and that as the linguistic evidence makes clear, the militia clause is
>> inextricably bound to the right to bear arms clause. 18th-century readers,
>> grammarians, and lexicographers understood the Second Amendment in this
>> way, and it is how linguists have understood it as well.”
>> Professor Joseph Dauben of the CUNY Graduate Center commented on
>> Shapiro's blog post in an email today: "It's clear from what you say that
>> the amendment means "the people" collectively, in their joint defense, not
>> every NRA member out there who may on his own want to keep a weapon handy,
>> whether there is a militia anywhere in sight or not."
>> I should note that this post is meant only to demonstrate one way in
>> which Peircean thought is being effectively employed in consideration of
>> contemporary issues.
>> Best,
>> Gary R
>> *Gary Richmond*
>> *Philosophy and Critical Thinking*
>> *Communication Studies*
>> *LaGuardia College of the City University of New York*
>> *718 482-5690 <(718)%20482-5690>*
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