Re: What have been the worst home handyman accidents you've had,or seen so far ?

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Eh, the courts have NOT consistently held that it's an individual right. Just the opposite, in fact.
However, the issue is up for grabs again. Within this decade two Circuit Courts of Appeals have reached opposite conclusions on this issue, one that supports the individual right (Fifth Circuit, United States v. Emerson, 270 F.3d 203) and one that denies it (Ninth Circuit, Silveira v. Lockyer, 312 F.3d 1052). This conflict puts pressure on the Supreme Court to finally decide the issue, but don't count your chickens. It may be very difficult to find a test case.
FWIW, the issue has been brewing in the highest reaches of legal theorizing since the publication, in the Yale Law Review, of Sanford Levinson's article, "The Embarrassing Second Amendment" (1989). The article is widely available online for anyone who's interested.
Laurence Tribe (the most famous liberal legal scholar) caused a furor a few years by swinging, to a large degree, to the individual-rights position. It is an extremely hot issue in legal scholarship today, part of a broader turmoil of re-thinking various rights issues.
-- Ed Huntress
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lose their title of most overturned circuit any time soon.
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wrote:

However, keep in mind that the 5th, while it has fewer cases reviewed by the USSC, had 100% of them overturned in a recent year. I think it was five cases in one year.
There's no way anyone can anticipate how this one would come out. I'd put my money on the individual-right interpretation prevailing, but I wouldn't bet heavily.
-- Ed Huntress
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Dave Gordon wrote:

Where did you get your copy of the Constitution? 'Cause I've read the Second Amendment dozens of times from dozens of sources, and and NONE of the copies I EVER saw limit the right to bear arms to "a well regulated militia." And read my first post above again.
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Just Wondering wrote:

CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES: <http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname 5_cong_documents&docid=f:sd011.105.pdf>
The Bill of Rights: http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/billofrights.html
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Amendment II
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.
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Kurt Ullman wrote:

That's right, the right of THE PEOPLE (not the militia) to keep arms shall not be infringed.
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But the need for a well-regulated militia is what is stated first and succinctly. You conveniently ignore that. The right of the people to bear arms flows from the necessity of a well-regulated militia. There is a hierarchy here in the flow and ordering of the statements concerning how and why the rights are bestowed by the constitution.
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Kurt Ullman wrote:

The "militia" consisted of all able bodied men. It was not limited to a government-sponsored military force.
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Kurt Ullman wrote:

What you're ignoring is that the entire first part of that is commentary. The actual meat of the amendment says simply and eloquently, "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
The grammatical construction of the first part sounds stilted in today's world, but translating it into modernese, it says "Because a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free State..."
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wrote:

Not necessarily. Nominative absolute sentences are just as (un)common today as they were in the latter part of the 18th century. Yes, I researched it, around 20 years ago.
And the "because" is just one possible "in other words" for such a nominative absolute. The accurate meaning of the others would produce an awkward sentence -- which is why the nominative absolute is used from time to time in literature. You will not see it used in legal documents today because of the ambiguity.
I don't look this stuff up for fun, but if you doubt all this and want to see some parallel examples, I'll dig out my grammar books. They have some good ones.
-- Ed Huntress
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Ed Huntress wrote:

Actually, I'd love that. I saw these constructs so often in my early reading that they became ingrained; if I've missed something I wanna know.
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Hokay. As I said, the construction is uncommon but you'll recognize these familiar examples:
(From The American Heritage Book of English Usage, "Absolute Construction"):
"No other business arising, the meeting was adjourned." "The paint now dry, we brought the furniture out on the deck." "The truck finally loaded, they said goodbye to their neighbors and drove off." "The horse loped across the yard, her foal trailing behind her." "The picnic is scheduled for Saturday, weather permitting." "Barring bad weather, we plan to go to the beach tomorrow." "All things considered, it's not a bad idea."
Note that in some of these, the ones about the horse and her foal and the one about the picnic, the absolute phrase is almost, but not quite, incidental. The foal did not restrict the horse from loping across the yard, so far as we can tell. The weather may decide if we have the picnic, but it doesn't change the fact that the picnic is scheduled for Saturday.
We brought the furniture out on the deck at least partly because the paint was dry. We would not have done so if it wasn't, probably, so the dryness of the paint in this case is logically (but not grammatically) restrictive. The good idea is logically, but not grammatically, connected to the idea that we have considered all things. It still would have been a good idea if we had not considered all things, in all likelihood, but the sentence is ambiguous on this point.
Is it clearing up? The nominative absolute allows a variety of logical connections between the phrase and the clause.
(Here's one I picked up online):
"High heels clattering on the pavement, the angry women marched toward the mayor's office."
The women were marching regardless of whether their heels were clattering.
I hope this is enough to satisfy what you're looking for. I should point out that the nominative absolute is a slightly controversial issue to grammarians, but it may appear that way because some don't like the fact that it's derived from Latin, in which the parallel to the English nominative absolute is the "ablative absolute," and it really works better in Latin than in English.
In English, the construction has always been rare. Linguists say it started when early literary writers tried to adopt Latin constructions. John Milton used in heavily in _Paradise Lost_. But it has never, otherwise, been common.
Why the FFs used it is a good question. It's a literary device whose meaning depends on context. But the 2nd has no context. My guess, after years of studying it, is that it was an intentional ambiguity.
You probably noticed that Gunner made a point of the commas, which many writers have done over the years. The commas would be an issue if the grammatical question was whether the phrase is restrictive or not. But that's not the issue. Absolute constructions -- the nominative absolute, in this case -- have no grammatical relationship to the rest of their sentences. They have various logical connections but "absolute" means they are grammatically self-contained, or not connected. Once it's absolute, there is no "restrictive" or "unrestrictive."
The point is that the commas don't matter. If the sentence of the 2nd Amendment were written today, we would not use the first comma, but the meaning would be identical to the original. The use of such "ear-based" commas has declined but the meaning remains the same.
I have some definitions of nominative absolute that may help but I hope the examples clear it up.
-- Ed Huntress
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On Sat, 15 Sep 2007 16:56:28 -0400, Ed Huntress wrote: ...

It won't do any good - the confiscators, neosocialist and neonazi alike, simply want absolute power, and are incapable of reason.
Cheers! Rich
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Nope. The first part of the amendment is a well regulated militia. It is mentioned first, not as an add on, not as an afterthought, but as the introductory clause of the piece. It sets out HOW and WHY it must not be infringed. The context of when infringement takes place. It sets limits. If you want to include the last part, you can't pretend that the first doesn't exist.

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wrote:

It's not a clause. No predicate. It's a nominative absolute phrase.

See my message to clifto. You can make no such assumptions.

It could just as well set a sufficient but not necessary condition, which, after decades of studying it, is exactly what I think was intended.

Neither can you draw any conclusions about what relationship it has to the clause just from the sentence itself.

Pure guesswork. You can make no such assumption with a nominative absolute construction. You need to know the context, and there is no context.
-- Ed Huntress
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On Sat, 15 Sep 2007 17:51:03 -0400, Ed Huntress wrote:

The way I read it is, "Since it is necessary that the militia be well-regulated, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
What this means that it is the duty of the well-armed citizenry to keep the militia from turning itself into a police state. In other words, it's the duty of the citizens to do the actual regulating.
For example, when the militia man shows up with his squad and says, "We're going to confiscate all of your guns and burn all of your subversive books", you can lock and load, aim, look him in the eye, and say, "Guess again, bucko!"
Unfortunately, these days it seems that too many people are willing to throw away their Liberty in exchange for the illusion of security.
Thanks, Rich
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I suppose that's as good an interpretation as any. One of the beauties of the 2nd, and of many such sentences, is that you can read into it what you want -- and it's clear that people do just that.
Taking into account what the FFs were trying to accomplish with the Bill of Rights, I firmly believe that the 2nd was intended to be ambiguous, while, at the same time, drawing attention to what was then the most uniformly agreed upon argument in favor of a right to bear arms. After the Revolutionary War, no state legislature would argue the point, and that was the desired result.
But the history of the issue over the decades preceding the B of R suggests that the most common argument (although not, possibly, the most forceful one) was an individual right to self-defense. Why the FFs didn't seize on that one, we can only guess. A key point is that there was no debate over the right itself. It was a no-brainer at the time.
-- Ed Huntress
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excuse me girls, can you please remove uk.d-i-y from your x-posts
thanks in anticipation that you are intelligent enough to do this
--
geoff

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writes

Sure, Geoff. We wouldn't want you to know this stuff, anyway. You might be dangerous if you did. d8-)
-- Ed Huntress
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