Be sure to vote, I am curious where most atheists stand on this issue.

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I agree. I think that the original intention was for members of a civilian militia, however multiple court rulings have allowed the general population the right to carry guns. As a hunter, I am in favor of responsible possession of guns, but I do not mind thoughtful gun control such as banning assault and fully automatic rifles which have no practical purpose in general society.

Totally agree with that!  Proper hunting weapons should be available with proper licensing for hunters as long as they are held and kept safely and responsibly. 

@ Carl Brown:

Carl, a 'civilian militia' IS the 'general population'.

The 2nd Amendment does not address hunting or any form of gun activity, it only address the Right of the People to be able to form a militia when necessary for the defense of their Free State.

You say you are for banning certain types of arms, tell me then how will the militia you will be a part of prevail against an opposing group armed with modern firearms?  My guess is that you will die with your hunting rifle grasp in your cold dead hands.

I respect your opinion, in return I demand you respect my Constitution Rights, if you wish to take away or restrict my Rights then have your elected officials write a new Amendment that removes my Right to keep and bear arms, and have it properly ratified.

The first clause is a justification for the primary clause.  If one does not have weapons, how can they take them up to defend, not just against enemies of the State, but the State itself if it should become the enemy.

So, you're not one of those anti-tax people who feels that someday the people may need to rise up and use their arms to overthrow our corrupt and exploitative overlords.

Whether it's possible or not, no attempt can even be made if the people don't have the right to keep and bear arms, can it?

its one of the worst written amendments in the constitution, almost like a puzzle for a 140 character tweet..."how much can we pack in there...." that being said....i consider the amendment to allow for both well regulated militia's to be formed and that the rights of the people to keep AND bear arms cannot be challenged. while i think restrictions in modern society for some of the more clever devices in this category...i do not read it as clauses that qualify each other...hard to see how it does. i voted yes, i do not oppose gun control, but it should have limits too. mostly to show a reasonable restriction of weapons that does not conflict with the words above. aka to keep and bear arms...if you cant pick up a howitzer, you shouldn't have the inalienable right to own and operate one.

I think it's a little outdated, sure, it had its use when new settlers came to America and had to be able to rely on themselves to protect their family. Nowadays we have the police that's supposed to be able to deal with issues like that. This "privilege" is so ingrained in people's minds, however, that I think there will always be an issue in the US. In Germany, where I'm from, most people don't own a gun let alone carrying one around with them all the time. People that do own them are usually hunters, and hunting is not really a sport there either but a profession. I always wonder if the murder rate in the States has anything to do with how freely guns are available. Because it is easier to pull a trigger than to stab or or choke someone with your bare hands. That actually takes guts :P

Germany has one of the toughest laws concerning firearms and even knives can be illegal if they meet certain requirements. You have to apply for a "Waffenschein", which is a license for carrying a weapon. This has to be renewed every three years. They usually have restrictions on them and you are only allowed to use the weapon for certain activities and if you were to be caught with it somewhere else you'd be in trouble. 

In order to be even eligible, you have to have a distinct need that requires you to have a weapon (just saying you feel you need to protect your life and that of your family isn't enough), you can't have any prior arrest record (unless it was under 60 days or a monetary fee), you need to have a secure place to store your weapon, be at least 18, not be addicted to drugs or alcohol, not be mentally ill, and you have to take a class where you learn how to handle weapons securely and take a test in the end which you have to pass.

So I think it would be useful to take a closer look at people's lives and psyche before they can fill out a form and answer no to all the questions and then just take home a rifle like they're shopping for groceries. But that's just my European mindset I guess :P

I like it!

I think it's a little outdated, sure, it had its use when new settlers came to America and had to be able to rely on themselves to protect their family. Nowadays we have the police that's supposed to be able to deal with issues like that.

Admittedly, my understanding of the history behind this amendment is not the strongest, but my general understanding is that its purpose was to afford people the means of resisting potentially tyrannical government in the form of a constitutional guarantee.  It had to do with balancing the power between a standing federal army, and militias of the people.  Something like that.

This is almost exactly how it is in New Zealand.

 

We do, however, have a widespread culture of respectful firearm ownership - rather than the fear-based culture that seems to pervade American firearm ownership.

While I am not against gun (or other arms) ownership per se, I wouldn't want its protection explicitly enshrined in the constitution of my country.

I couldn't vote in the poll.  My concern is with its inclusion in the the constitution rather than the specific right it secures.

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