Keeping And Arming Bears
bcully, I think the argument for The Right To Keep and Bear Arms(TRTKBA) is a bit more subtle than "we might need to overthrow the government again" (not that the founders shied away from that, having been successful revolutionaries themselves).
As I understand it, the reason that TRTKBA is enshrined in the Constitution is that it offends the dignity of a free people to be kept disarmed. In other words, it's a matter of liberty. Free men and women should be free to publish, worship, and be armed as they will. If people can't be trusted with force themselves, how in the world will they be able to elect those to government who can use force wisely?
As for nukes, a good explaination that I've seen is that the intent behind the "keep and bear" shows a practical limit. Citizens have a right to personal arms, something that an individual person in their private live might reasonably expect to wield and maintain. Handguns, rifles, and katanas obviously pass this test. M1A1 Abrams tanks, F-16 fighter jets, and tactical or stragetic nukes obviously fail this test. And of course we can find gray areas somewhere in between...
So cheer up. There's absolutely no way that the Constitution protects large evil corporations from becoming nuclear powers.</a>
Why am I bothering arguing about TRTKBA when we have more urgent issues? I finally stopped procrastinating and wrote a dead trees letter to my congresscritter about the current crop of human cloning bills about to hit the floor of the House. Bottom line: I do not wish to live in a Brave New World. It is even more of an affront to human dignity and freedom to make persons into an industrial byproduct than to deny them TRTKBA. I'm urging Rep. Rivers to vote for the Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2001 (H.R. 2505, the Weldon bill) and to defeat the Cloning Prohibition Act of 2001 (H.R. 2608, the Greenwood bill). H.R. 2505 actually prohibits human cloning. H.R. 2608 allows the creation of cloned human embryos, but forbids allowing them to develop to term. In other words, "it's OK to clone people as long as you kill the clones before they get cute." It even goes to the trouble of forbidding states to pass alternative legislation, so that it would also mandate that all 50 states permit human embryo cloning. This is monstrous, and I hope that you all contact your congresscritters as well. This week. Even if you don't agree about banning human cloning entirely, at least urge them to defeat the Greenwood "clone-and-kill" bill.